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About Us

The Heart and Stroke Foundation South Africa (HSFSA) plays a leading role in the fight against preventable heart disease and stroke, with the aim of seeing fewer people in South Africa suffer premature deaths and disabilities. The HSFSA, established in 1980 is a non-governmental, non-profit organization which relies on external funding to sustain the work it carries out.

The HSFSA aims to reduce the cardiovascular disease (CVD) burden in South Africa and ultimately on the health care system of South Africa. Our mission is to empower people in South Africa to adopt healthy lifestyles, make healthy choices easier, seek appropriate care and encourage prevention.

For more information, contact the Heart and Stroke Health Line on 0860 1 HEART (43278) or visit www.heartfoundation.co.za. You can also find us on www.facebook.com/HeartStrokeSA andwww.twitter.com/SAHeartStroke. For more stories of inspiration, awareness and recovery go to: http://bit.ly/1U88vq8

Why we exist

The global context

Non-communicable diseases (NCDs) - a collective term for cardiovascular disease (CVD), diabetes, cancer, chronic respiratory disease and mental disorders - are the leading cause of deaths worldwide.  NCDs cause over 60% of the world’s deaths, 80% of which occur in developing countries.  It is anticipated that by 2030 NCDs will overtake all other causes of death in Africa.  Of the NCDs, CVD is the leading cause of disabilities and death killing 17 million people annually. In September 2011 the United Nations (UN) high level meeting recognized the scale of the NCD problem, the socio-economic impact, and the link to unhealthy lifestyles. Subsequent action by the UN, World Health Organisation (WHO) and World Health Assembly (WHA) has placed NCDs and CVD on the global health agenda.

The South African context

NCDs, also known as diseases of lifestyle, are a leading cause of deaths and disability in young people in South Africa, second to HIV/AIDS. CVD tops this list of NCDs, yet up to 80% of deaths in young people (< 60 years) are preventable through a healthy lifestyle.  Heart disease and strokes are seen more frequently in people in their most productive years, impacts negatively on our labour force and adds a massive burden to the health-care system, leading to a health and economic burden on South Africa.