Understanding women’s involvement in primary health care: a case study of Khayelitsha (Cape Town)
Kali, Julia Mamosiuoa
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Women are the principle providers of their families when it comes to issues of health care, even though their health needs and efforts are neglected. The contributions that they make to health development seem to be undervalued, and their working conditions ignored. Societies depend heavily on women as role players in the welfare of their families and of national economics together with their physical well-being which determines the ability to be productive. The study has provided an overview of the experiences of women concerning primary health care and the quality of service in Nolungile PHC Khayelitsha, Cape Town. Primary health care (PHC) forms an integral part both of the country‘s health system and the overall social and economic development of the community. Central to the PHC approach is full community participation in the planning, provision, control and monitoring of services. Priority has to be given to the improvement of women‘s social and economic status.A much neglected perspective in health issues is that, a number of questions arise from the provision of PHC. Does PHC rely on the contribution of women and if so, why women? Women in their communities have joined their hands together as community health workers, educating community members on issues of health. The study has provided an insight of the work that women are doing in their communities, and how do they give meaning to their experiences in PHC. The study also answered questions that raise fundamental issues on gender stereotyping and disparities in PHC. The study gave me an opportunity to work closely with the women while observing the challenges that they are facing and how to they overcome them in the daily lives.Changes are called towards the attitudes of health care providers working in the formal and nonformal sectors. The provision of health education for women ultimately empowers them as health educators for the community.
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