Die stam van die gemeenskap: An exploration of hypertension and herbal treatment amongst the elderly in Nuwerus
Pasquallie, Michell e Sheila
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Hypertension is estimated to a ect 20 million people in South Africa, with lifestyle factors predisposing certain individuals to this condition disease (Hughes et al., 2013). The prevalence rate of hypertension is higher in areas with low socio-economic status, with women more at risk of developing it than men. Current research suggests that 60-80% of people in South Africa use 'traditional'- most often plant based - medicines at some point for their primary healthcare needs (WHO, 2008; Hughes et al., 2013). In rural and underprivileged areas, such as the community of Nuwerus in the Western Cape Province, the use of herbal medicines and its practices are maintained in an ageing population. This study looks at the ways in which the elderly and the home based care workers of Nuwerus understand hypertension. I focus on the transition from hypertension to high blood pressure and how the two concepts overlap in Nuwerus. I highlight the way the elderly maintain their sense of vitality. I also look at concepts of resilience and vitality to unpack the personal, religious and social dimensions of old age. I focus on the various activities the elderly participate in to unpack the subtle ways with which they push the boundaries of old age consequently challenging conventional notions of health and wellness amongst the aged. The vigour with which the elderly go about their everyday life is what ultimately makes them the pillars and knowledge holders of the community.