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Prof Chetty Talks on the Global Burden of Disease And The Impact on The Health Policy (NHI)

Prof Chetty Talks on the Global Burden of Disease And The Impact on The Health Policy (NHI)

The Executive Dean Of The Faculty of Health Sciences hosted a Public Lecture by Professor Mohambry Nadesan (Morgan) Chetty on the Global Burden of Disease – Impact on Health Policy (NHI), at the Basic Medical Sciences Lecture Theatre, last week Wednesday, 21 August 2019.

Prof Chetty, spoke about the contentious issue regarding the implementation of the Universal Health Care (NHI) in South Africa.

He gave an overview of how the NHI became a recommendation which transpired from global statistics on diseases and an MOU that came into being.

“The World Health Organisation (WHO) and the Institute of Health metrics and Evaluation (IHME), signed a memorandum of understanding between the two organisations that would increase awareness and understanding of Health problems globally as well as the evaluation of strategies to address them,” he said.

He gave insight on the Global Burden of Disease (GBD) report, in 2017, which presented results described in seven scientific papers. The results covered mortality and life expectancy, causes of death and years of healthy life lost, years lived with disability, overall burden of disease, risk factors and the chances of each nation meeting 41 of the health related indicators that formed part of the United Nation’s Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) for 2030.

“The work done by WHO and IHME and the Global Burden of Disease report offers a platform through which strategies and progress can be tested,” he said.

Prof Chetty stressed that it was imperative that all Healthcare Professionals have a broad understanding of the world’s healthcare challenges, the work done to demonstrate the areas that needed International agencies, health officials and other stakeholders that can prioritize resources and optimise activities around. “The monitoring of the GBD, will help us refocus or intensify our efforts to meet the SDGs by 2030; and will help us to prepare for NHI,” he added.

He said this information will help to change the way healthcare professionals evaluate health of patients and the challenges in the country and how small changes will benefit a population, a country and the world we live in.

Prof Chetty added that to plan for NHI, there is a need to understand the Global Disease Burden and to identify the threats and then based on evidence, advise policy makers how to develop healthcare strategies and solutions customised for South Africa from a lens on the whole of Africa.

“This is complex. To understand how we can focus on change, let’s together understand the Global Burden of Disease and its influence on Health policy development. Let’s understand the framework set by the United Nations, the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and how this ties up into NHI, so that at the end of it we all are committed to join in this journey to a destination to implement NHI that will bring healthcare for all South Africans,” he said.


Prof Chetty is a registered Specialist Family Physician. He serves as Deputy Chairman of SAMCC. He is the Chairman of the IPA Foundation of SA and Chairman of KwaZulu-Natal Doctors Healthcare Coalition. Prof Chetty was appointed on the NHI Technical Task Team [GP Contracting] in South Africa. He was appointed by the former Minister of Health, Dr Aaron Motsoaledi to serve on the Board of the Office of the Health Standards Committee (OHSC). He serves on the PCC Committees in SA and also serves on the ISQua African Committees Programme. In 2018, he was appointed as the Interim Chairman of African Health Federation – South Africa. In April 2019, Prof Chetty received the degree of Doctor of Philosophy honoris causa at the Nelson Mandela University, Port Elizabeth. Prof Chetty is the Honorary Researcher in the Faculty of Health Sciences at the Durban University of Technology.

Pictured: Professor Morgan Chetty with Professor Champaklal Jinabhai, Executive Dean of the Faculty of Health Sciences, Professor Nokuthula Sibiya, at the public lecture.

Waheeda Peters

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