64th ISI World Statistics Congress - Ottawa, Canada

64th ISI World Statistics Congress - Ottawa, Canada

Demographic and socioeconomic profile of severely ill and disabled children in South Africa


64th ISI World Statistics Congress - Ottawa, Canada

Format: CPS Abstract

Keywords: social-determinants-of-health

Session: CPS 37 - Statistics and economics I

Tuesday 18 July 8:30 a.m. - 9:40 a.m. (Canada/Eastern)


Persons with disabilities are often neglected in the social welfare systems, particularly in accessing services. There is a lack of inclusivity and disability mainstreaming of children with disabilities and severe illnesses resulting in unmet needs and widened barriers and disparities which leave this population behind. Objectives: This study describes the role of demographic and socioeconomic indicators as social determinants of health of the epidemics, and it describes the accessibility to social welfare services such as health, education, and social assistance, in the comparison between children with severe illnesses or disabilities compared to children with no form of disability or severe illness. Research design and methods: The data was extracted from NIDS longitudinal survey Wave 4, and three datasets were merged using the unique person identifying code available on each dataset including the children’s questionnaire (Child_W4_Anon_V2.0.0), household questionnaire (hhderived_W4_Anon_V2.0.0) and the weighted questionnaire (Indderived W4_Anon_V2.0.0). Stratified sampling was used, and the sample size (n) was 13047 this consisted of strata one denoting children with severe illness or disability 562(n) and strata two denoting children with no form of disability 12 485 (n). Pearson Chi-squared statistic test was used to test for significance between independent variables such as socioeconomic, demographic, health, and education concerning the dependent variables such as severely ill or disability in children and no disability in children, analyzed using STATA version 14 under P<0.05. Results: There was a high prevalence rate of disability and severe illnesses in children under the age of 17 which accounted for 5.2% [4.413, 6.138], and epidemics of both communicable diseases and one non-communicable disease under other respiratory infections such as pneumonia, bronchitis, asthma accounted for 34.2% [26.55, 42.49], these epidemics were found to be high. Whereas the prevalence of non-communicable diseases was found to be predominantly lower including epidemics such as diabetes accounted to 0.4 [0 .0479, 2.45], heart disease 3.6% [1.348, 9.152], cancer 0.3%[0.0342, 1.762], epilepsy 6.5%[2.865, 13.92]. The disability prevalence was found to be high in children with disabilities such as problems with sight, hearing, or speech 18.1%[12.48, 25.55], physical handicapped accounted for 8.2%[4.875, 13.55], and mental problems 4.2%[ 2.02, 8.321]. Whereas the prevalence of communicable diseases such as tuberculosis accounted for 3.9%[2.025, 7.356] and HIV/AIDS accounted for 8.8%[4.538, 16.33]. A statistical significance was found between health, demographics, social, and education indicators in association with the epidemics. On a contrary, no association was found between socioeconomic indications in association with epidemics. Conclusion and implications for programs and policy: The findings of this study suggest there is a need for extensive data collection of children with disabilities inclusive of social welfare variables, to reconstruct policies, programs, and interventions. This data is needed to effectively implement holistic disability mainstreaming, fully integrate children with disabilities into the mainstream society, and promote inclusivity to meet the unmet needs of this subset population and achieve inclusive development in alignment with the SDGs vision 2030 and AU agenda 2063 and to create a positive and sustainable livelihood in the principle of leaving no one behind.


Prevalence rate of the epidemics

Nature of the epidemics

Demographic indicators

socioeconomic indicators

Education Indicators

Health Indicators