2017 - CHP at PHASA conference

Mayeesha Yu-hwei Tseng, post-doctoral fellow, presented part of the findings of the Batlhokomedi (Carers) Project titled “The Role of Supervision in Facilitating Community Health Worker Provision of Care: A comparison of Different Models in Sedibeng District, South Africa“in the parallel session: Care in the Community. It was co-authored with Professors Jane Goudge and Frances Griffiths, as well as 4 other researcher at CHP. In her presentation, Mayeesha compared current CHW models from the aspect of supervision and highlighted the necessity of capacitating supervisors to be strong and supportive. She received feedback from attendants both in academics and in the field. Not only in this particular session where community health workers were discussed by several researchers, has the topic of CHW been explored in others. For example, in the closing speech, Prof. Eric Buch proposed accreditation of CHWs as recognition for the work they do and the professionalism involved in their service.

Teurai Rwafa, a PhD fellow, presented work from her Master of Public Health studies titled ‘Relationship Power and HIV sero-status: An analysis on their relationship among low income urban Zimbabwean women. Dr. Simukai Shamu and Assoc. Prof. Nicola Christofides are co-authors to the research. In her presentation, Teurai pointed out how HIV differences by sex reflect deeply rooted social and gender inequities, in favour of men.

Hlologelo Malatji, a Pre-PhD Intern, presented his Master’s study findings titled: The challenges faced by teenage mothers’ in South African schools: Lessons learned from a qualitative study. The presentation was co-authored with his supervisor, Mr. Nkosiyazi Dube and with the support of CHP staff members. The presentation provided insights on the challenges experienced by teenage mothers’ when they re-engage with secondary school education post-pregnancy, for example limited access to sexual and reproductive health care services within schools. Furthermore, the roles which nurses and community health workers can play in addressing some of these challenges were also discussed with the audience.

Faith Mambulu presented part of her PhD work titled ‘Severe Acute Malnutrition Management (SAM) Guidelines and Referral Policies in Practice: A Qualitative Comparison of Two Rural Sub-Districts in South Africa’. The work was co-authored by Prof John Eyles and Dr. Ditlopo. We explored the adherence to guidelines and policies that inform SAM management and referral at clinic, transit and district hospital levels of the referral system. The exploration was guided by implementation fidelity components of adherence, exposure, quality of delivery and differentiation.

Siphiwe Thwala An oral paper was presented on the health systems and governance track of the annual PHASA conference. Siphiwe presented the paper on some of the findings from the MHSAR project by CHP titled;

Agency of district managers and its influence in the delivery of emergency obstetric care: an intersection of structuration and the health systems building blocks

In this paper, the agency of managers and its influence in determining the state of the district health system, and its ability to support the delivery of emergency obstetric care (EmOC) was explored. Agency was discussed as a powerful tool to overcome challenges to EmOC services provision through inspiring leadership, as well as enabled a positive environment that unlocked the potential health system resources.

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