Hiv Impact On Child Mortality In South Africa

HIV Impact On Child Mortality In South Africa

South Africa is the largest country in Southern Africa and it has more people with HIV/AIDS than any other country in the world. The country is facing a serious challenge on how to tackle HIV/AIDS as it has reached the proportion of an epidemic.

According to reports, HIV infection among pregnant women has increased significantly and the number of HIV cases varies from one province to another. The highest rate of HIV among pregnant women is reported from KwaZulu-Natal province followed by Mpumalanga and Free State.

As per the World Health Organization, more than 5.3 million adults and children are HIV positive. However, the question is what is the HIV impact on child mortality in South Africa. According to the findings of a national study of HIV risks among children in South Africa, it was reported that around 5.4 percent children between the ages of 2 and 18 are HIV positive. As per estimates, around 61,000 to 89,000 cases of mother to child infection take place annually.

Child mortality rate in South Africa has doubled since 1995 because of HIV. Therefore, it is clearly visible that HIV impact on child mortality rate in South Africa is profound. Child mortality ratios in South Africa are 59.6 infant deaths per 1,000 live births and 97.1 deaths of children under the age of 5. Mortality rate for infants is 67.5 per 1000 person years and that of children under the age of 5 is 21.1 deaths per 1000 person years. In fact, HIV is responsible for 41 percent of deaths among children under the age of 5. Whereas children under the age of 1 die mostly due to lower respiratory infections brought on by HIV infections and account for 24.9 deaths per 1000 person years.

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Hiv Impact On Child Mortality In South Africa