National-level health studies in South Africa have historically focused on younger age populations. Smaller samples of elderly people have previously produced limited cross-nationally comparable data and used limited objective measures of health.
Consequently, there has not been sufficient data to accurately, reliably and equitably inform policy formulation and programming. This is in spite of the unprecedented growth in the numbers of individuals aged 50+ in South Africa.
Against this background, epidemiologist Professor Nancy Phaswana-Mafuya and her team, the World Health Organisation (WHO) and the National Department of Health (DoH), conducted a large-scale national study that expanded the 2002 and 2003 World Health Survey, the Study on global AGEing and adult health (Sage Wave 1) in South Africa. Phaswana-Mafuya is research director at the Human Sciences Research Council (HSRC).
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