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South Africa is the southernmost sovereign state in Africa. South Africa is a multiethnic society encompassing a wide variety of cultures, languages, and religions. Its pluralistic makeup is reflected in the constitution's recognition of 11 official languages, which is among the highest number of any country in the world. About 80 percent of South Africans are of Sub-Saharan African ancestry.

South Africa is located at the southernmost region of Africa, with a long coastline that stretches more than 2,500 km (1,553 mi) and along two oceans (the South Atlantic and the Indian). South Africa is the 25th-largest country in the world and is comparable in size to Colombia. Excluding the Prince Edward Islands, the country lies between latitudes 22° and 35°S, and longitudes 16° and 33°E.

South Africa has a generally temperate climate, due in part to being surrounded by the Atlantic and Indian Oceans on three sides, by its location in the climatically milder Southern Hemisphere and due to the average elevation rising steadily towards the north (towards the equator) and further inland. The economy of South Africa is the second-largest in Africa, behind Nigeria. South Africa accounts for 24 percent of Africa's gross domestic product.

Research In nephrology is funded primarily by the various University Research Funds the Medical Research Council of South Africa and the Natal kidney Association. South Africa has a huge burden of disease, fuelled by a range of risk factors, and morbidity (illness and disease) and mortality (death) figures are high.This is shown by the results of the first South African National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (SANHANES), a comprehensive health and nutrition study that yielded critical information on emerging epidemics of non-communicable diseases.

The study also analysed the underlying social, economic, behavioural and environmental factors that drives these diseases in the South African population.The information contained in the study will assist policy makers and programme managers to identify specific target areas that need attention as part of a comprehensive approach to address emerging diseases and the social factors that impact on health, including the health system