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Communicating the Science of Health in Informal Settings


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Presented by Dr F. Senkubuge (University of Pretoria, School of Health Systems and Public Health, South Africa) at the Public Engagement Workshop, 2-5 Dec. 2008, KwaZulu-Natal South Africa, …

Presented by Dr F. Senkubuge (University of Pretoria, School of Health Systems and Public Health, South Africa) at the Public Engagement Workshop, 2-5 Dec. 2008, KwaZulu-Natal South Africa,

Published in: Health & Medicine

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  • 1. COMMUNICATING THE SCIENCE OF HEALTH IN INFORMAL SETTINGS Dr F. Senkubuge University of Pretoria, School of Health Systems and Public Health, South Africa
  • 2. Introduction
    • Health is defined by the WHO as a state of complete physical, mental and social well being and not just the absence of disease or infirmity.
  • 3. Introduction
    • Public health has seen an increase in the use of self-rated health as a measure of health status of populations.
    • In epidemiological research self-rated health is frequently used as a measure of assessing health perceptions.
  • 4. Introduction
    • A number of studies have shown self-rated health to be a significant predictor of morbidity and mortality.
    • The most frequently used single item measure is the non-comparative, which asks “would you rate your general health as poor, fair, good or excellent?”
  • 5. Introduction
    • Molarius et al. found that in Sweden, poor self-rated health had the strongest association with:
    • economic hardship.
    • lack of social support.
    • employment status.
    • Also that physical inactivity, underweight and obesity were independently related with poor self-rated health.
  • 6. Introduction
    • In Social disparities in health and health service still exist in South Africa .
    • It is estimated that approximately 40% of South Africans are living in poverty - most commonly in female-headed households and among black Africans.
    • The Gini coefficient for South Africa, which reflects inequality, remains high and its estimated at 0,6.
  • 7. Introduction
    • Sociological theories have suggested that inequality determines asses to messages
    • Exposure to health messaging in South Africa by health professionals is usually through the visit to a health facility.
    • Given the high levels of poor access to health care populations would therefore have health messaging from sources other than health professionals.
  • 8. Study
    • Senkubuge , Ayo-Yusuf :Lifestyle and social conditions associated with self- rated health in South- Africa
    • 2003/2004 South African Demographic and Health Survey (SADHS).
  • 9. Results
    • Of the respondents, 40.3% (n=3236) rated their health as good/excellent.
    59.7 40.3 Poor /average Good/excellent
  • 10. Frequency distribution of sample socio-demographic characteristics
  • 11. Socio-demographics and lifestyle frequency distribution by low SES and good self-rated health (n = 8,060). Characteristics %Low SES (n) p-value %Good SRH (n) p-value Gender 0.23 <0.01 Male 26.1%(889) 45.3%(1490) Female 24.7%(1192) 36.5%(1746) Race <0.01 Black 29.6%(1896) 36.8%(2159) Coloured 9.3%(178) 45.9%(467) Asian/Indian 0.8%(5) 55.6%(384) White 0 71.7%(211) Other † 9.9%(1) 55.2%(10) SES <0.01 Lowest - - 32.5%(654) Middle - - 36.3%(1231) Highest - - 51.6%(1305) Tobacco use <0.01 <0.01 No use 24.3%(1386) 41.8%(2423) Snuff 33.9%(175) 21.8%(105) Smoking 26.6%(496) 40.6%(693) Snuff and Smoking 34.6%(16) 6.1%(5) Alcohol use <0.01 <0.01 No Use 26.4%(1458) 38.5%(2201) Not problem 17.6%(273) 53.0%(648) Problem Drinker 29.4%(350) 33.5%(387)
  • 12. The process
  • 13.  
  • 14.  
  • 15. Setting
  • 16. Setting
  • 17. Science cafes -Model
    • Communicate health messages in all settings .
    • Restaurants
    • Pubs
    • Hospital cafeterias
    • Campuses
    • Schools
  • 18. Speakers
    • Include: expert health professionals in their area of speciality
    • Emphasis on simple lay language
    • Use of everyday events and concerns to illustrate health.
    • The aim: health promotion,communicating health messages in a dynamic way
  • 19. Science café-Science of love
    • Held on valentines day- café
    • Speakers – psychiatrist
    • Poet
    • Speech language therapist
    • Cardiologist
    • Held in conjunction with University and hospital.
    • Attended by hospital, university and local area people.
  • 20. Science of love
  • 21. Science of love
  • 22. Science of love
  • 23. Science of love
  • 24. Science cafes
    • Health messaging is crucial in promoting health outcomes.
    • The self perceived health of populations improves as they have more knowledge on health as this will improve their health seeking behaviour.
    • There is no substitute for early diagnosis and treatment- this from an informed alert community
  • 25. Conclusion
    • In addition to promoting healthy lifestyle, there is a need for focused attention on interventions directed towards improving the communication of health messages by professionals in settings that traditionally would not have had a health conversation.
  • 26. Acknowledgements
    • British Council
    • Wellcome Trust
    • University of Pretoria
    • Department of Health South Africa
  • 27.