South Africa: Covid-19 Is Exacerbating Hunger and Mental Health Problems in Young People, WC Legislature Hears

Covid-19 and the lockdowns had exacerbated issues of mental health among the young, Western Cape Department of Health head Dr Keith Cloete told the provincial legislature.

Hunger and mental wellbeing among young people during the Covid-19 pandemic were a recurring theme during a briefing in the Western Cape legislature on Monday. The legislature’s ad hoc committee on Covid-19 heard from provincial government departments, the Cape Peninsula University of Technology (CPUT) and non-profit organisation (NPO) Jelly Beanz.

Committee member Nomi Nkondlo asked what was being done to assist hungry students. CPUT Professor Mellet Moll said there was support for students through feeding schemes during teaching time, but during recess “it has been something of a problem”.

Student hunger is not limited to CPUT. In June, a report by the Human Sciences Research Council and Higher Health found that 41% of students were not able to buy food during the lockdown, while 15% went hungry.

But it’s not only at the level of higher education that hunger among young people is a problem.

Dr Keith Cloete, head of the Western Cape Department of Health, said that 35% of households…


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Author : Daily Maverick

Publish date : 2021-07-20 12:22:51

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