Browsing Doctoral Degrees (Health Systems and Public Health) by browse.metadata.advisor "Barnes, J. M."
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- ItemThe health and sanitation status of specific low-cost housing communities as contrasted with those occupying backyard dwellings in the city of Cape Town, South Africa(Stellenbosch : Stellenbosch University, 2011-12) Govender, Thashlin; Barnes, J. M.; Pieper, C. H.; Stellenbosch University. Faculty of Health Sciences. Dept. of Interdisciplinary Health Sciences. Community Health.ENGLISH ABSTRACT: South Africa embarked on an ambitious program to rehouse the informally housed poor. These initiatives were formerly called the RDP and later the BNG programmes. This was aimed at improving the living conditions of the urban poor and consequently their health and poverty status. These low-cost houses were quickly augmented by backyard shacks in almost all settlements. The present study is an epidemiological assessment of the health and sanitation status of inhabitants of specific low cost housing communities in the City of Cape Town as contrasted with those occupying ‘backyard dwellings’ on the same premises. The study was undertaken in four low-cost housing communities identified within the City. A health and housing evaluation, together with dwelling inspections were carried out in 336 randomly selected dwellings accommodating 1080 inhabitants from Tafelsig, Masipumelela, Driftsands and Greenfields. In addition, the microbiological pollution of surface run-off water encountered in these settlements was assessed by means of Escherichia coli levels (as found by ColilertTM Defined Substrate Technology) as an indication of environmental health hazards. The study population was classified as ‘young’ - 43% of the study population was aged 20 years or younger. Almost a third of households were headed by a single-parent female. In all four communities combined, 47.3% of households received one or other form of social grant. At the time of inspection 58% of the toilets on the premises were non-operational, while all the houses showed major structural damage - 99% of homeowners reported not being able to afford repairs to their homes. In 32% of dwellings one or more cases of diarrhoea were reported during the two weeks preceding the survey. Five percent of the participants willingly disclosed that they were HIV positive, while 11% reported being TB positive (one of them Multiple Drug Resistant TB). None of the HIV positive or TB positive persons was on any treatment. The E. coli levels of the water on the premises or sidewalks varied from 750 to 1 580 000 000 organisms per 100 ml of water - thus confirming gross faecal pollution of the environment. Improvements in health intended by the re-housing process did not materialise for the recipients of low-cost housing in this study. The health vulnerability of individuals in these communities has considerable implications for the health services. Sanitation failures, infectious disease pressure and environmental pollution in these communities represent a serious public health risk. The densification caused by backyard shacks also has municipal service implications and needs to be better managed. Policies on low-cost housing for the poor need realignment to cope with the realities of backyard densification so that state-funded housing schemes can deliver the improved health that was envisaged at its inception. This is in fact a national problem affecting almost all of the state funded housing communities in South Africa. Public health and urban planning need to bridge the divide between these two disciplines in order to improve the health inequalities facing the urban poor.
- ItemAn investigation of early childhood caries in the lower socio-economic areas surrounding Tygerberg Oral Health Centre in order to plan a community appropriate intervention strategy(Stellenbosch : Stellenbosch University, 2014-12) Mohamed, Nadia; Barnes, J. M.; Nel, E. D. L. R.; Stellenbosch University. Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences. Dept.of Interdisciplinary Health Sciences. Division of Community Health.ENGLISH ABSTRACT: The long waiting lists for general anaesthesia and sedation services for children with Early Childhood Caries (ECC) at the Tygerberg Oral Health Centre highlighted the problem of ECC in this area. This was confirmed by a retrospective study of patient records at the Centre. ECC is largely caused by a combination of lifestyle factors, especially feeding and oral hygiene practices. Socio-economic status and parental factors such as education and employment have also been shown to play a role in the development of ECC. In order to address this problem, a study was designed to determine the prevalence of ECC in children from the lower socio-economic communities which drain to the Tygerberg Oral Health Centre and assess the knowledge of the caregivers of these children. A total of 659 children were examined at crèches and schools as well as community health clinics. The children examined at the clinics accompanied others and did not have any health reason for the visit themselves. As the aetiology is largely behaviour-driven and children are dependent on their caregivers to meet their basic needs, 366 caregivers attending the community health clinics with their children, were interviewed to determine their practices and knowledge of oral health. A total of 83 health care workers at these clinics were also interviewed to assess their knowledge of oral health matters and determine the role that they can play in the prevention of this disease. A cross-sectional community survey was carried out by means of clinical assessments and structured interviews with the aid of questionnaires. The survey was divided into 3 parts: 1. Prevalence of ECC amongst the children 2. Knowledge of the caregivers about oral health care 3. Knowledge of health care workers at the clinics in these communities about ECC The prevalence study revealed that 71.6% of children in the study population presented with caries. This is extremely high and highlights the need for serious interventions. Parents/ caregivers were shown to be ill-informed regarding their children’s oral health care needs which include dietary and oral hygiene practices as well as how this disease can be prevented. It is clear that caregivers need to be educated regarding feeding practices, weaning time, dietary content and the importance of basic oral health. The importance of preserving the primary dentition and regular dental attendance also needs to be emphasized in this community where dental health does not seem to be a priority. Health care workers such as nurses who come into contact with children from an early age would be the ideal vehicle to impart this information. However, as revealed from the results of this study, there is a serious lack of knowledge amongst these professionals regarding oral health matters. Time and resources therefore have to be invested to improve their knowledge and lessen their load so that more emphasis can be placed on prevention. Small changes can make a big difference towards addressing the burden of this disease on the health care system.