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Readiness to Adopt Food Related Non-Communicable Disease Prevention Policies in Africa

Increasing consumption of unhealthy diets is fuelling the growing burden of non-communicable diseases (NCDs) across Sub-Saharan Africa. Fiscal and policy interventions for addressing diet-related NCDs such as increased taxation on Sugar Sweetened Beverages (SSBs) have been endorsed by the global health community as being highly cost-effective. There are however significant challenges associated with the adoption and implementation of such interventions due to their inherent nature in politics and the economy.

To establish a comprehensive understanding of the political landscape in which policies for NCDs are developed and implemented, this project proposes a landscape analysis in a subset of Eastern (Rwanda, Uganda, Tanzania and Kenya) and Southern African (Botswana, Namibia and Zambia) countries. The aim of the project is to assess the existing and required evidence on the potential benefits of NCD-related fiscal and policy interventions, and an assessment of the challenges for their possible adoption. Understanding the nature of the burden of disease, data constraints, relevant politico-economic factors, key actors and the existing policy environment will help to develop feasible, specific and targeted evidence for the adoption of fiscal and policy interventions that are tailored to the context of each country.

The work will be led by researchers at PRICELESS SA (Priority Cost Effective Lessons for System Strengthening South Africa) unit of the School of Public Health, University of the Witwatersrand, Johannesburg, South Africa. They will collaborate with in-country researchers based at economic policy research think-tanks or academic institutions in each of the seven participating countries. The primary desired research outcomes will be; 1) increased understanding of whether diet-related NCD prevention policies would be necessary and suitable; 2) increased understanding of the feasibility of implementing these policies; and country and context specific public health recommendations on fiscal and policy interventions for prevention of diet-related NCD.

Project ID
Project Status
End Date
24 months
IDRC Officer
Samuel Oji Oti
Total Funding
CA$ 580,700.00
South Africa
Institution Country
South Africa
Project Leader
Karen Hofman
Wits Health Consortium (Proprietary) Ltd.

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