Two small boys play quietly on a jungle gym, some distance away from other children. The six-year-old twins, who live at the Masigcine children’s centre in Mfuleni township, 35km out of Cape Town, are severely traumatized from being orphaned at the age of one and have difficulty relating to their peers.
“We have been trying to get counseling and psychological support for these two boys, but accessing public health services for children with special needs in poor communities is extremely difficult,” explained Masigcine manager Juliane Petersen.
This shortfall in the country’s public health system has a negative impact on a large number of South Africa’s children. Three million girls and boys up to the age of 18 years are orphaned, according to The Health of our Children in South Africa, a study released in mid-May by national research institute the Human Sciences Research Council (HSRC).
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