Khulumani’s Executive Director, Dr. Marjorie Jobson was requested in early October 2015 to produce an overview of the health care system in South Africa for a German audience.
The overview is attached below and serves as a baseline for uncovering the ways in which Khulumani members could contribute to enhancing access to health care and the right to health of people living in under-resourced and rural communities.
The National Department of Health has adopted policies related to the roles of community health workers who would provide intermediary services in vulnerable communities. This especially covers older persons where 1 health care provider is required to provide care of 25 older persons. The major challenge is the lack of any budget allocations to the policy presently.
Khulumani with the assistance of Alzheimers South Africa has trained six field workers as dementia educators in rural Eastern Cape where the challenge is the lack of understanding of dementia as a condition that affects up to 10% of all older persons. Investigations have shown that some of the murders of elderly women who live alone in rural villages, may be attributed to a belief that these confused older women are “witches”. It is for the purpose of addressing this ignorance in communities that the Khulumani educators have been prepared by being trained at the Alzheimers South Africa training base in Pinetown in eThekwini Municipality.