4 million

children live far from their usual health facilities
The South African Constitution provides that everyone has the right to have access to health-care services, including reproductive health care. In addition, children have extra protection in that "every child has the right to basic health care services".

Indicators for Demography

Children living far from their usual health facility

This indicator reflects the distance from a child's household to the nearest health facility.

HIV prevalence among children in South Africa

South Africa is currently the country with the largest number of people living with HIV in the world. Many children are HIV positive or have become ill and died due to AIDS. The majority of children are infected before and during the birth process and some later through breastfeeding. Children may also become infected through sexual intercourse, including sexual abuse.

HIV prevalence in pregnant women

Adult HIV prevalence is critical for children, since children born to HIV-positive mothers are at risk of being born HIV positive or contracting HIV after birth, unless adequate and appropriate interventions and resources are available.

The proportion of newly infected children starting antiretroviral treatment

This indicator refers to the number of children under 15 years starting antiretroviral treatment (ART) in a particular year. Access to ART for children has improved substantially over the past six years but varies significantly between provinces.

Proportion of pregnant women who are tested for HIV

The majority of HIV-positive children in South Africa are infected in-utero, during birth, or as a result of breast-feeding. The roll-out of the 'prevention if mother-to-child transmission' programme (PMTCT) has expanded dramatically in recent years, with the proportion of pregnant women receiving HIV tests increasing from 7% in 2001/02 to 81% in 2007/08.

Child mortality: Infant mortality rate (IMR) and under-five mortality rate (U5MR)

The child mortality indicator focuses on two indices of childhood mortality, the Infant Mortality Rate and the Under-five Mortality Rate. Both are valuable indicators of early childhood mortality and the two are strongly related.

Teenage pregnancy rate

Available data suggests that teen pregnancy in South Africa is not an escalating problem.

Immunisation coverage of children

This indicator refers to the percentage of children younger than one year who are fully immunised.