About Mzantsi Wakho

Mzantsi Wakho (‘Your South Africa’) is based in the Amathole District of the Eastern Cape. Its academic homes are at the University of Cape Town, and Oxford University’s Department of Social Policy and Intervention.

Mzantsi Wakho is part of the Young Carers South Africa research group, based at the Universities of Oxford and Cape Town. The research group conducts quantitative and qualitative research to generate evidence that informs social policy and intervention design on the best ways to care for and support young people and families living in AIDS-affected communities in South Africa. For more information on Young Carers South Africa, please visit the study group website.

Mzantsi Wakho seeks to answer several research questions about youth health, with a focus on long-term medication, contraception, 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. The research team collaborates with adolescents, frontline healthcare workers and social service providers to design support tools to improve adherence to medicines and access to health services.

The Mzantsi Wakho study was designed and conceptualised in collaboration with the South African Departments of Health, Basic Education, and Social Development, UNICEF and UNAIDS, RIATT, REPSSI, Paediatric AIDS Treatment for Africa, and community-based organisations: the Keiskamma Trust, the Raphael Centre, Kheth’Impilo, and Small Projects Foundation.

Our primary funders are The Nuffield Foundation (UK), The International AIDS Society’s Collaborative Initiative for Paediatric HIV Education and Research (CIPHER), Evidence for HIV Prevention in Southern Africa (EHPSA), a DFID programme managed by Mott MacDonald. Additional support is also provided by the European Research Council, Johnson & Johnson Global Fund Programme (formerly Janssen Educational Grant Programme), and the Philip Leverhulme Fund.