Mzantsi Wakho is a research collaboration about youth health in South Africa.
Mzantsi Wakho (‘Your South Africa’) is based in the Amathole District of the Eastern Cape. Its academic homes are Universities of Cape Town and Oxford. The study seeks to answer several research questions about youth health, with a focus on medicines-taking and sexual and reproductive health. It uses multiple methods and data sources to identify and investigate risk and resilience-promoting factors, through linked qualitative and quantitative studies.
September 26, 2018
University of Cape Town’s School of Public Health and Family Medicine’s Division of Social and Behavioural Science has just launched a new blog called ‘Fieldnotes’. It aims to share perspectives and research from researchers and practitioners in public health and social sciences. Read Lesley’s post Biomedical Beliefs and Practices Amongst Traditional Health Practitioners here.
August 1, 2018
The Mzantsi Wakho and HEY BABY teams – based at ASRU – gave 14 presentations at the International AIDS Conference 2018 and associated events, held on July 19-27, 2018 in Amsterdam, the Netherlands. Dr Elona Toska presented early findings on pregnancy among adolescents living with HIV in South Africa from the HEY BABY and Mzantsi Wakho studies, while Lesley Gittings presented research on adolescent and provider views on adherence and defaulting, an initiative led by Dr Rebecca Hodes, ASRU director, in collaboration with the Paediatric Adolescent Treatment for Africa.
July 24, 2018
ASRU Research Associate, Siyanai Zhou, was awarded a certificate of excellence for his presentation during the 13th Population Association of Southern Africa Conference held at Stellenbosch University, 18th – 20th July, 2018. Siyah has just completed his MPhil in Demography at UCT and is currently working with Dr Toska to analyse quantitative Mzantsi Wakho data on sexual and reproductive health and TB.
July 13, 2018
June 28, 2018
Mzantsi Wakho (‘Your South Africa’) is based in the Amathole District of the Eastern Cape. Its academic homes are Universities of Cape Town and Oxford. The study seeks to answer several research questions about youth health, with a focus on medicines-taking and sexual and reproductive health. It uses multiple methods and data sources to identify and investigate risk and resilience-promoting factors, through linked qualitative and quantitative studies. In this first episode we speak to Rebecca Hodes who is the principal investigator of Mzantsi Wakho’s qualitative research. She is the Director of the AIDS and Society Research Unit, University of Cape Town, and an Honourary Affiliate of the Department of Social Policy and Investigation, Oxford University. Hodes studied history at Rhodes University, and received an M.Sc in the History of Medicine, Science and Technology and a D.Phil from Oxford University.
Becoming men: HIV-positive adolescent boys’ engagement with traditional and biomedical health services and products
June 4, 2018
Lesley Gittings delivered a presentation based on her PhD research with Mzantsi Wakho entitled ‘Becoming men: HIV-positive adolescent boys’ engagement with traditional and biomedical health services and products’. She presented findings on medical pluralism and (dis)engagement with HIV treatment and care for adolescent boys and young men living with HIV in the Eastern Cape. The presentation also explored some of the methodological and ethical challenges of qualitative research with HIV-positive adolescent boys and young men living in precarious contests.
May 8, 2018
A regional programme for adolescents highlights some Mzantsi Wakho research, together with important developments in providing young people with the health services they need.
March 19, 2018
From 8 – 9 March 2018, Rebecca Hodes attended a symposium: ‘Youth and Contemporary Notions of Sexuality in South Africa’. The programme is available for download at:
Hodes presented emerging findings from the Mzantsi Wakho study, with a focus on the challenges of meeting global health targets for HIV testing, initiation onto antiretroviral treatment (ART) and viral suppression, among adolescents.
February 26, 2018
On February 14th, ASRU researcher Dr Elona Toska, presented on factors linked to onwards HIV transmission risk at the 8th African Conference on Sexual and Reproductive Health. Her presentation drew on quantitative analyses of the baseline Mzantsi Wakho dataset. Findings were of particular interest to colleagues from UNFPA, the AIDS Foundation of South Africa, Ministries of Social Development, Urgent Action Fund – Africa, and Marie Stopes from Kenya, South Africa, Swaziland and Uganda.
Shinaz Ali (Urgent Action Fund – Africa, session facilitator) and Elona Toska
February 1, 2018
The Mzantsi Wakho team, a project housed with the AIDS and Society Research Unit, held a workshop with Paediatric-Adolesent Treatment for Africa, on 22 – 24 January 2018. The workshop focused on data analyses, dissemination, and capacity-building among researchers. programmers and policy-makers. As a result of this intensive collaboration, the group drafted two abstracts for the forthcoming International AIDS Society conference (Amsterdam, July 2018) based on PATA clinic-level data from n=282 health facilities providing care to children and adolescents in 23 sub-Saharan African countries.
November 2, 2017
Mzantsi Wakho researchers will be presenting emerging findings at AIDSImpact 2017.
August 29, 2017
Mzantsi Wakho researchers will be presenting emerging findings at PHASA 2017.
June 13, 2017
SA AIDS Durban 2017 Presentation Road Map
May 16, 2017
Mzantsi Wakho team presenting at INTEREST 2017 conference in Lilongwe, Malawi.
May 2, 2017
A TAG participant customises a t-shirt as part of the ‘Funky Stylzzzzz’ participatory research exercise.
January 30, 2017
Vacancy: Postdoctoral Research Fellowship at the AIDS and Society Research Unit, Centre for Social Science Research
October 24, 2016
The AIDS and Society Research Unit (ASRU) at the Centre for Social Science Research (CSSR) invites applications for a postdoctoral fellowship for a suitably qualified individual to join a research project on adolescent health in South Africa. Read the application PDF here.
September 19, 2016
Mzantsi Wakho team and SASH fellows presenting at PHASA conference in East London.
UCT Research Report: Babies for bling? How teenage pregnancy became emblematic of misspent youth in South Africa
June 17, 2016
UCT Research Report, ‘Babies for bling? How teenage pregnancy became emblematic of misspent youth in South Africa’, 14 January 2016, Available at http://www.uct.ac.za/dailynews/archives/?id=9525.
June 17, 2016
Interview with Rebecca Hodes on ‘Babies for bling: the scandal of teenage pregnancy in South Africa’ SAFM Radio, 10 February 2016. Available at http://tinyurl.com/SAFM-hodes-baby-bling.
June 17, 2016
Interview with Rebecca Hodes on alleged associations between social grants and incentives for teenage pregnancy in South Africa. Cape Talk Radio Interview. 27 January 2016. Available at http://tinyurl.com/hodes-baby-bling-interview.
June 17, 2016
Interview with Elona Toska on SABC’s Newsroom morning show on “Transactional Sex and Sugar Daddies” on 27 May 2016 (minutes 48-55 in the programme)
Get in touch
East London Office
+27 (0) 43 721 1716.
For UCT enquiries:
+27 (0) 21 650 4656
Nondumiso Hlwele <firstname.lastname@example.org>
For Oxford enquiries:
Department of Social Policy and Intervention