Health Systems Trust Publishes The District Health Barometer 2016/17

Leading public health non-profit organisation Health Systems Trust (HST) today published its 12th edition of the District Health Barometer (DHB) 2016/17.

The publication seeks to highlight, health system performance, inequities in health outcomes, and health resource allocation and delivery, as well as to track the efficiency of healthcare delivery processes across all provinces and districts in South Africa. Over the years, the DHB has become an important planning and management resource for health service providers, managers, researchers and policy-makers.


This year, the DHB contains 47 indicators, with trend illustrations and health profiles across South Africa's nine provinces and 52 health districts. The district chapters are aligned with the National Department of Health's district health plans format to enable district managers to have all the relevant information available in one document for planning and monitoring purposes. 


Commenting on its release, CEO of Health Systems Trust, Dr Themba Moeti said that the value of the publication lies in both the depth and breadth of information that the Barometer brings together. "The health indicators are augmented by data on socio-economic determinants of health as well as other demographic information such as medical scheme coverage, causes of death and levels of education.  The collation of data using various sources of information enables us to develop a more contextual understanding of the challenges facing each district which is absolutely critical for effective planning for service delivery", said Moeti.      


The 2016/17 DHB paints a mixed picture in the national profile; however, significant gains were noted in more areas compared to previous years:


South Africa still faces a quadruple disease burden, namely: communicable diseases with maternal, perinatal and nutritional conditions; HIV and TB; non-communicable diseases (NCDs); and injuries. The percentage of the burden due to NCDs and injuries increased since 2010. The percentage of the burden due to NCDs remains the highest at 38%, followed by HIV and TB at 27%.

Areas for improvement are:


An electronic copy of the District Health Barometer is accessible via the HST website -