Daily Maverick

Tshemba Foundation is Plugging Gaps in Women’s Health in Rural South Africa

May 2023
In the news

“The most profound issue in healthcare for women, and much more so in rural areas, but generally is awareness of services available, awareness of early symptoms of disease, irrespective of the disease. There is also a stigma attached to seeking healthcare for what one might regard as private female problems,” Professor John Gear said.

Awareness and stigmatisation were compounded enormously in rural areas. For women in urban areas, access to care in a private or public facility was relatively good in terms of physical distance and reasonable transport costs.

“In a rural area, people often have to travel for an hour or two, change taxis three times, or arrange a lift with their neighbours. They get to a hospital, because of the staff shortages, and they often have to wait for a long time. By the time they get to the clinic that they were coming to, that clinic is closed for the day, and then they have to come back the following day,” he said.

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