Globally it is estimated that around one in five to one in ten children and adolescents are affected by mental health disorders. In South Africa, the numbers are highly uncertain, particularly at provincial level, where hardly any data is being gathered. Research suggests that a lack of intersectoral collaboration has resulted in children falling through the cracks – so much so that one expert now says South Africa is completely unable to meet the mental health needs of its children. Tiyese Jeranji investigates.
A Lancet article reporting on children’s height and weight changes over the past thirty years makes for grim reading when it comes to South Africa. Two of the country’s top child nutrition experts unpack what this landmark study means and what we can do to improve the situation.
National immunisation rates for children under five years have dropped dramatically over the period of South Africa’s COVID-19 lockdown, sparking fears of an outbreak of deadly childhood infectious diseases including measles. Adele Baleta reports.
Children experience anxiety and panic as acutely as adults do; only they might be better at hiding it. There is concern that the COVID-19 pandemic and national lock down will lead to an increase of physical and emotional abuse towards children and that the economic fallout of the pandemic will add a new dimension of hardship to children’s lives.
Alarming statistics put KwaZulu-Natal at the forefront of South Africa’s child hunger crisis, with around two to four times the reported levels in other provinces. Spotlight visited one of the province’s most rural districts to find the children at the heart of these numbers and the organisations making a difference.