Attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) has received increased scientific, clinical and public attention over the past few decades. It’s the most common psychiatric disorder in children – affecting 2% to 16% of the school going population.
But in South Africa data on prevalence rates, access to care, and treatment for ADHD is limited. Despite the known efficacy of treatment, access to health care and treatment remains limited for many children in the country. This is a problem as untreated ADHD results in substantial costs and has a negative impact both on educational attainment and quality of life.
We have recently completed a study that looked at the mental health barriers South African school children face. Our research focused on the work of a not for profit organisation, set up in 2017 to provide mental health screening services for school children and with a particular focus on ADHD.