South African Medical Research Council (SAMRC)
Building a healthy nation through research and innovation

Press Release

22 April 2016

Research shows disparity between Child Support Grant and child health in South Africa

South Africa | The Health Systems Research Unit of the South African Medical Research Council (SAMRC) concluded a study suggesting that the current Grant fee does not match the high levels of food insecurity and rising food prices in the country, ultimately affecting the health of children. 

“The Child Support Grant is a major poverty alleviation strategy in South Africa, yet this research has shown that the value of the grant is inadequate to meet the basic needs of children in contexts of extreme poverty, rising food prices and food insecurity,” says Principle Investigator Dr Wanga Zembe.

The paper: The experience of cash transfers in alleviating childhood poverty in South Africa: Mothers’ experiences of the Child Support Grant explores the relationship between the Child Support Grant (CSG) and child health in South Africa and furthersuggests that the monetary value of the grant is inadequate for it to achieve its stated goal of meeting the basic nutritional needs of children.   

The mothers and children participating in the study were part of a larger multi-country cluster randomized intervention trial (PROMISE-EBF study) that took place between 2005 and 2008 in peri-urban Paarl (Western Cape), rural Rietvlei (Kwa-Zulu Natal) and Umlazi township (Kwa-Zulu Natal) in South Africa. It was after this trial ended, that former participants were traced (children ranging between 9 months and 3 years in age) and invited to participate in the Child Support Grant (CSG) cross-sectional study that aimed to measure uptake and duration of the CSG and its nutritional outcomes.  A total of 746 participants were enrolled into the study.

“Despite the presence of the Child Support Grant, high rates of stunting among poor children continues unabated in South Africa,” Dr Zembe adds.

Two papers have been published on this research, and more information can be accessed at the following links:

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Last updated:
22 April, 2016
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