Medical Research Council
World Health Organization
Health Systems Trust
2011-2012 Education Sector HIV and AIDS: Global Progress Survey- Progression, Regression or Stagnation?UNAIDS
The Global Forum on MSM & HIV (MSMGF)
A Communication Strategy for the IPU Health District in KZN
Since Primary Health Care (PHC) has now been accepted as the foundation of health care delivery in South Africa, health districts have become the vehicle through which this health care system will be implemented. While it is hoped that the traditionally under-resourced areas of South Africa will benefit most from the new emphasis on PHC, the move to a fully functional district health system is bound to be a slow process due to the enormity of the task of restructuring a health sector ravaged by the legacy of apartheid. Current changes taking place in implementing primary health care are still only transitionary. Existing district boundaries are still of an interim nature, healthcare personnel in key positions within the Health Districts have only been appointed on an interim basis, and educating and driving home the importance of the district health system to health workers and communities in remote areas of the country will take time to yield its desired level of acceptance and understanding.
Apart from the existing transitionary nature of changes taking place in management structures at both a provincial and district level, the benefits of PHC are also likely to be slow as rural areas in South Africa are burdened with gross infrastructural deficiencies. The absence of a good road infrastructure, the lack of basic services such as electricity and water, and a deficiency of a good and reliable communication infrastructure, has and will continue to make the implementation of PHC through district facilities difficult. Poor communication has been a major cause of frustration and a major cause of the isolation experienced by health workers in the rural areas. Therefore, the successful implementation of a district health system would to a great extent depend on providing an effective and efficient means of communication for health workers, health managers and consumers of district health care.
It is in heed of the importance of the role of communication in a district-based health care system that the Initiative for Sub-district Support (ISDS) recognises this as one of the cornerstones of its support strategy for its sites. With the emphasis on the need to improve communication in health districts, the strategic relationship between the ISDS and HealthLink becomes evident. HealthLinks role in enabling health workers and managers in South Africas rural areas to access communicative tools (such as electronic mail), is an important initiative in assisting ISDS in providing sustained, systematic and comprehensive support to selected sub-districts. An explanation of the link between HealthLink and communication, in the context of healthcare in South Africa.