Editor’s note

  • Demetre Labadarios Human Sciences Research Council (HSRC)


The preliminary key indicator report1 of the 2016 South Africa Demographic and Health Survey was recently published by Stats SA. The survey, conducted in 13 000 occupied households, addresses a number of health issues including fertility, teenage pregnancy and motherhood, maternal care, sexual behaviour, HIV/AIDS knowledge, ante- and post-natal care, adult and childhood nutritional status, consumption patterns of alcohol and tobacco, and domestic violence. In relation to nutritional status, underweight and wasting was documented in 6% and 3% of children, respectively, whereas stunting was reported in 27% of children aged 0–59 months of age (largely unchanged). The finding of exclusive breastfeeding up to 6 months of age of 32% (based on the definition used) is indeed most encouraging. Among adults, 6% of women and 30% of men still smoked tobacco daily, risky drinking was reported by 5% of women and 28% of men, 68% of women and 31% of men were overweight or obese with 20% of women having a BMI ≥ 35 kg/m2, and 64% of women and 44% of men were hypertensive. The full report is expected to become available early in 2018.
Editor's Note