Since 2014, the South African People’s Health University (SAPHU) has focused on Community-Based Health Workers (CBHWs), since they form the backbone of the health (and social) services, especially in poor communities. At present, in all nine provinces in South Africa, CBHWs are either volunteering or are employed under different, uncertain and tenuous conditions of service. There is an urgent need for improvement in their economic, legal and professional conditions of services, and to build on their competence in a comprehensive Primary Health Care national health system.
The aim of the SAPHU is to strengthen the knowledge and skills of CBHWs in policy and political analysis, and in advocacy, mediation and various forms of activism. Examples are the development of a deeper analysis of social determinants of health (SDH) that are associated with the challenges faced by individuals, families and communities in improving their health; and the learning of skills such as planning, advocacy, mediation, conflict management that can be used in organisations and communities for developing appropriate strategies to achieve Health for All in the country. The SAPHU can be adapted for other (health) activist groups.
For additional information on SAPHU and community health workers, see the articles below.
To join the SAPHU working group, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.