CAPE TOWN – Children in South Africa continue to face a multitude of issues as highlighted in the 2019 South African Child Gauge.
The report was published by the University of Cape Town’s Children’s Institute on Tuesday.
The theme of the 14th annual report is Child and Adolescent Health: Leave No One Behind.
Research has shown nearly 60% of South African children still live below the poverty line, 30% do not have access to piped water on-site and 20% live in an overcrowded household.
These are just some of the worrying statistics included in the latest South African Child Gauge.
Senior lecturer in community paediatrics at Wits University Doctor Wiedaad Slemming said: “For the last 20-30 years, we’ve been trying to alleviate the spread of HIV and Aids and we’ve seen our mortality rates decrease. But at the same time, we’ve got one in five children who’ve got some kind of long-term illness or disability and that’s about four million children in South Africa. We’ve got inequality that’s increasing.”
The prevalence of obesity in children increased from 10% in 2005 to about 13% in 2016, more than twice the global prevalence of 5.6%.
The report has also revealed that 42% of children have experienced some form of physical, sexual or emotional abuse and an estimated 10% to 20% of minors have a diagnosable mental health condition such as depression or anxiety.