Pohjoismainen kansanterveystieteen korkeakoulu, NHV/Nordic School of Public Health

Lay health workers assists in solving health care crisis in South Africa

Lehdistötiedote   •   Touko 02, 2012 14:42 EEST

Sixteen years after apartheid the public health system in South Africa continues to be plagued by health worker shortages.  “But lay health workers can make a great contribution to care”,  says Karen Daniels at Nordic School of Public Health. But they also need greatly to be cared for. Here thesis explores how ordinary people trained to assist in health care is an option to tackling this crisis.

A thesis by Karen Daniels, a doctoral student at the Nordic School of Public Health NHV explores Lay Health Workers – ordinary people trained to help in the delivery of health care usually performed by professionals – as an option to tackling this crisis.
Ms. Daniels, who is South African, is a researcher employed at the Medical Research Council in South Africa.  With a history of fighting for social justice Ms. Daniels hope that the research emanating from this thesis will contribute positively to health care policy making and implementation for the better of South Africa’s residents.
Ms. Daniels, says: Lay health workers can make a great contribution to care but they also need greatly to be cared for.
Looking at lay health worker performance internationally, the thesis Lay Health Worker Programmes as a Public Health Approach in South Africa finds that they can contribute positively to a range of health care problems. In a review of over 80 studies they have been shown to be successful in the management of infectious diseases and they have shown some success is improving the health of mothers and their children. 
However the thesis also shows that lay health workers are not an easy option.  Lay health workers in South Africa are mostly women, and as women they carry the burden of care. 
The thesis explores policy and implementation experience in order to understand how lay health workers may be better supported and protected. 

Thesis Title: Lay Health Worker Programmes as a Public Health Approach in South Africa
Author: Karen Daniels
Telephone: +27 21 9380911 (office) +27 82 5387184 (mobile)
E-mail: karen.daniels@mrc.ac.za
Supervisor: Prof. Karin Ringsberg, Prof. Marina Clarke
Time and Venue: 13:00, 11 May 2012, Aulan Assembly Hall
Adress: Nordic School of Public Health, Fredrik Bloms väg 25, Nya Varvet, Gothenburg
Order the thesis for SEK 150 excluding postage: kirsi.gomes@nhv.se

Pohjoismainen kansanterveystieteen korkeakoulu NHV – kansanterveyden edelläkävijä NHV on Pohjoismaisen ministerineuvoston vanhimpia ja suurimpia laitoksia. Työssäkäyvät opiskelijat ja korkeatasoinen yhteiskunnallisesti merkittävä tieteellinen tutkimus on NHV:n toiminnan keskiössä. NHV tutkii, opettaa ja täsmäkouluttaa tämän päivän ja huomisen kansanterveyttä varten. NHV:llä on viehettävät opetustilat ja uudenaikaiset opiskelija-asunnot korkeakoulunsa alueella.
The Nordic School of Public Health is one of the oldest and largest institutions under the Nordic Council of Ministers. With the student in focus and a high level of scientific quality and public relevance, NHV conducts research and delivers teaching and commissioned courses to ensure public health now and in the future.