Equity in health addresses the differences in health status that are unnecessary, avoidable, and unfair. This also means understanding and influencing, not only the way society allocates health resources, but the power relations involved. (Loewenson and International development research center, 2011, para.1).
Health inequity can be observed in most African countries in areas like: declining life expectancy, poor individual health care practices, dilapidating primary health care systems, access to and reception of health care information, as well as morbidity and mortality rates.
Created to help ease this burden, Africa’s Public health network (APHeN) uses communication strategies and a 2-way communication channel to inform, influence decisions and modifications in personal health and lifestyle choices among individuals of different backgrounds, gender and occupation through:
- Creating awareness and impacting knowledge on health issues.
- Promoting healthy behaviors and practices.
- Promoting community participation.
- Encouraging a demand and support for health services.
- Debunking rumours and misconceptions about health.
- Encouraging the utilization of health services.
While utilization behaviour of health services is based on the perceived need of healthcare services, assumptions of health and human behaviour such as: good health is a right to which members of the society are entitled to, and relevant healthcare services should be provided as needed by members of the society to mitigate existing falls in health status need (Abanobi, 2005). This indicates that knowledge of available and accessible options in relation to all dimensions of health, is of optimum importance to help with community strengthening, and ensuring people have a chance to reach their full health potential.
A prerequisite for health information communication is therefore knowledge of; the methods of effective communication, research skills, health needs and impact assessment, community synthesis and health risk assessment. Information on health topics can be accessed here on our website https://aphen.africa/.
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Abanobi, O. C. (2005). Health and Wellness States. Opinion Research and Communications Inc. Abanaheart Publications Owerri.
Loewenson, R.,International development research center. (2011, February 1). The challenge of achieving health equity in Africa. The challenge of achieving health equity in Africa | IDRC – International Development Research Centre. Retrieved July 13, 2021, from https://www.idrc.ca/en/research-in-action/challenge-achieving-health-equity-africa.