Working to Advance
Health Equity in Africa

Caregiver-child wellbeing project: KZN uKunankekela study

Caregiver-child wellbeing project: KZN uKunankekela study


The caregiver-child wellbeing project is part of the broader Young Carers South Africa study. This research is the world’s first large-scale quantitative study of the impacts of familial HIV and AIDS on children and is developed and conducted in collaboration with national government departments and NGOs. The KwaZulu-Natal component of the project is unique in that it collects paired data from both caregivers and children in their care. This allows for an assessment of the health and wellbeing of both child and caregiver, as well as possibly linkages. The project generates at least 17 newspaper and internet media articles; podcasts; the production of two participant-led movies; and several key national and international policies that are directly utilising the research findings.


  • To examine the impact on children’s physical, emotional, social, sexual and educational wellbeing by living in an AIDS-affected family
  • To identify risk and protective factors which can be directly targeted by government policy and programming in order to improve child outcomes.

Methodological Approach:

A cross-sectional survey with 2477 children, 10-17 years of age and their adult primary caregivers (18 years or older) in two HIV-endemic communities in KwaZulu-Natal; fieldwork undertaken in both an urban and rural research site.