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).
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 communicate public health issues like this, 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.
Acknowledging that knowledge of available and accessible options in relation to all dimensions of health is of optimum importance to help with community strengthening, to ensure people have a chance to reach their full health potential, and prevent to health inequity; APHeN promotes and encourages health service utilization behaviour by providing information that is easily accessible to everyone.
Also, as a public health professional, interested in communicating and promoting health equity in your community, it is advisable to attend trainings to have skills and knowledge of methods of ensuring effective communication, research and more.
Information on such trainings can be accessed on the APHeN website https://aphen.africa/.
You can also connect and engage with us our fellow public health professionals on the APHeN social media pages:
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.