TITLE

THE HEALTH AND LIVING CONDITIONS OF CHILDREN IN CHILD-HEADED HOUSEHOLDS IN SITEKI, SWAZILAND

AUTHOR(S)
Earnshaw, S.; Njongwe, P. Z.; English, B.; Worku, Z.
PUB. DATE
April 2009
SOURCE
East African Journal of Public Health;Apr2009, Vol. 6 Issue 1, p95
SOURCE TYPE
Academic Journal
DOC. TYPE
Article
ABSTRACT
Objective: The focus of the study reported on here was to determine the health and living conditions of children living in child-headed households (CHHs) in Swaziland, where it is estimated that approximately 10-15 percent of the entire population will be orphans and other vulnerable children (OVC) by 2010 and that one in ten households in the country today are child-headed because of the impact of HIV and AIDS. Methods: The population comprised 41 heads of household, caring for 97 siblings among them. Data was collected in a single period between the months of February and April 2007 using the convenience sampling method and employing a semi-structured questionnaire as the data-collection instrument. Results: Children were generally physically healthy, despite not receiving adequate food or balanced diets. Most had access to health facilities or at least to sources of medication. Education assistance exists but is limited and abuse was generally not reported for fear of reprisal. Children generally relied on family and community networks for assistance, but the strain this put on those offering assistance meant that the assistance was not always consistent. Some children also relied on NGOs for food donations, but many of the children were unaware of the services offered by these organisations. Conclusions: There is a dearth of information on adolescents in Swaziland, the primary caregivers in most child-headed households. Children are not actively consulted and encouraged to participate in helping to solve the problems they are affected by. There is a lack of coordination between caregiver organisations, leading to ineffective and inefficient service provision for this particular vulnerable group.
ACCESSION #
59336337

 

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