In-depth: What’s behind the increase in malnutrition deaths among Free State infants?

When Free State Health MEC Montseng Tsiu took to the podium in April this year to deliver her budget speech, she said there was an increase in deaths of children under five mostly due to severe acute malnutrition which has increased from 3.1% in the 2020/21 financial year to 9.6% in 2021/22. This meant of all the children admitted to the province’s hospitals for acute malnutrition, 48 died in 2020/21 and 86 in 2021/22. Refilwe Mochoari unpacks the numbers and asked authorities, experts, and community leaders what can be done.

Read More

Experts welcome new HIV treatments for kids

New child-friendly formulations of several important antiretroviral medicines were recently approved by the South African Health Products Regulatory Authority. Thabo Molelekwa asks what this means for children living with HIV in South Africa and how long it will take for these medicines to become widely available.

Read More

PART 2 – How can we reduce incidence of cerebral palsy in SA?

It is estimated that around half of medical negligence claims against the South African government are cerebral palsy-type claims. Apart from the direct impact on infants and families, cerebral palsy thus also has a major impact on health budgets. In this second article in a two-part series, Elri Voigt asks what can be done to reduce the incidence of cerebral palsy in the country. In part 1 we looked at what we know about cerebral palsy in South Africa.

Read More

Opinion: COVID-19 has been hard on kids, more support is needed

A rise in teenage pregnancies and gender-based violence coupled with the loss and uncertainty related to COVID-19 are all stressors fuelling the mental health burden the pandemic will leave on children, especially girls. If not adequately addressed, argues Kholofelo Mphahlele, the mental health consequences for a generation of children and young people could far surpass the immediate health and economic impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, leaving harmful long-term social and economic consequences in its wake.

Read More

Experts urge registration of new child-friendly ARV formulation

Children living with HIV have to take multiple different antiretroviral pills or syrups twice a day, while most adults in South Africa have been offered one pill once a day regimens for around a decade. At the recent South African HIV Clinicians Society (SAHCS) conference, various speakers argued that better treatment regimens for kids are needed urgently. Thabo Molelekwa reports.

Read More