Public health

Tuberculosis - Our Problem

Series Name: 
HST Update
Published by: 
Health Systems Trust
When I think of tuberculosis, a picture that comes into my mind is of adults, often elderly men, struggling to take in air, lying in a hospital bed, perhaps sitting outside in the sun, helpless, undignified, their health and social, family and community respect and support lost. Our response as health workers has been to relegate TB patients to separate clinics, to label them difficult, and to dole out pills in very large numbers, with little explanation of the disease or the treatment. We seldom have the inclination nor make the time to ask, listen or to empathise. We then wonder why patients fail to complete their treatment, and we embark on research programmes to find out what went wrong! Then the WHO comes up with the solution - DOTS, which could be interpreted as getting other people, the community, to do the work for us!

SA Demographic and Health Survey

Published by: 
Department of Health (South Africa)
Internet version is the preliminary report. The 1998 South African Demographic and Health Survey (SADHS) is the first survey of its kind to be carried out in South Africa since the 1994 democratic national elections. The 1998 SADHS collected information on adult health conditions; sexual, reproductive and women's health; maternal and child health; adult, maternal, child and infant mortality; fertility and contraceptive use. Preparations for the study started in 1995 and the fieldwork was carried out between late January and September 1998. This report presents preliminary findings from the 1998 SADHS. It provides the results for key maternal and child health indicators including medical care for mothers during pregnancy and at the time of delivery, infant feeding practices, child immunisation coverage and the prevalence and treatment of diarrhoeal disease among children. It also provides information on women's status, fertility levels, contraceptive knowledge and use and adult health conditions. More detailed results will be presented in the final report which will be published towards the end of 1999. The information collected in the SADHS will be instrumental in identifying new directions for the national and provincial health programmes in South Africa. Data such as fertility levels, prevalence and treatment of chronic health conditions, and infant mortality levels are crucial indicators in evaluating policies and programmes and in making projections for the future. In addition, as one of more than 100 surveys carried out in the international Demographic and Health Surveys programme, it will hopefully contribute to an increased global commitment to improving the lives of mothers and children worldwide.

Community Research as a Springboard for District Action: A household survey of maternal and child health in the Mount Frere health district, 1997- ISDS Technical Report 7

Published by: 
Health Systems Trust
Appropriate and useful information is a crucial part of health planning. Given the inadequacies of existing information, the need for a community-based survey to inform the planning activities of the interim District Health Management Team (DMT) was recognised. Similar surveys have previously been undertaken in rural districts in KwaZulu, and in the Bizana district of the former Transkei. It was also hoped that the survey would stimulate the process of developing the districts Health Information System for future reference.