An Investigation of Climate Change and Its Impact on Healthcare Provision in South Africa

Cook, Shelley (2015) An Investigation of Climate Change and Its Impact on Healthcare Provision in South Africa. Masters thesis, University of south Africa.

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Climate change, a reality, a myth, a conspiracy, remains a point of research and concern, specifically with regards to the impact it has on human health. Reports concerning climate change are accepted by many but are also rejected by prominent figures of society and powerful enterprises flourishing in the race for economic development. Yet all living organisms on Earth are dependent on its natural resources and delicate balance of co-existence. A disruption of ecological balance will bring about changes to biomes and niches. These changes will affect disease patterns and well-being for all. Vulnerable groups will be most affected. If these changes have occurred and continue to occur what provision should be made to reduce population vulnerability? What investment should be made to public healthcare to assist vulnerable population groups and improve adaptability? This study was conducted with the aide of the South African Red Cross Society in three large South African provinces, Limpopo, Mpumalanga and Kwa-Zulu Natal, each known for its rich diverse ecologies and tropical to sub-tropical climates. The study aimed to determine the level of awareness amongst the healthcare workers with emphasis on education. The participants were counsellors working closely with the National Department of Health and local clinics. A total of 101 participants completed a close-ended questionnaire. The results indicated a strong workforce of young people with post-matric qualifications and strong views. Qualitative research was used with descriptive statistics to analyse and describe the data collected. It was, therefore, recommended that investment be made into this growing workforce in healthcare, as well as healthcare as a whole, since climate change, as documented, will threaten food security and water availability, see altered diseases patterns including emerging and re-emergence of infectious diseases and cardiovascular concerns brought on by heat stress. Funding must support education and training to strengthen awareness and preparedness so as to empower this workforce so that they may assist local populations to better adapt to the changes, become more resilient and, thereby, reduce their vulnerability and risk.

Item Type: Thesis (Masters)
Subjects: Q Science > Q Science (General)
R Medicine > R Medicine (General)
Divisions: Africana
Depositing User: Martin Lucas Mkoba
Date Deposited: 19 Jan 2017 11:36
Last Modified: 19 Jan 2017 11:43

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