Health and Well-being Analysis of South Africa

2536 words (10 pages) Nursing Assignment

18th Jun 2020 Nursing Assignment Reference this

Tags: healthwell-being

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PART A: With reference to a range of indicators, explain the level of wellbeing of people in your chosen country (400 words max) (10 marks). 432 WORDS. (Happiness Report, Statistics, The OECD, The HDI, etc.)

INTRODUCTION: The overall wellbeing of South Africa (note: S.Africa) is significantly lower than the highest countries like Australia, Norway and Sweden, placing 113th on the Human Development Index. This is due to government corruption, which has caused a chain of major issues contributing to this low standing like under-qualified staff and lack of resources, which ultimately decreases the wellbeing level, especially surrounding healthcare and education.

Education:

Education within S.Africa plays a major role in all the variables that assess a country’s wellbeing as a more educated country translates to better educators and more knowledgeable, reliable people in the healthcare system, improving overall health. Graduate Rates are slowly rising, but many children are dropping out even before secondary schooling begins. The reason why this major issue occurs, causing only 4% of all students in all years to qualify for a degree, is due to the poor amount of educators and lack of resources/funding provided from governments to successfully teach the new generation. Education is compulsory from seven to fifteen-year-olds (8 mean years), but in comparison to the highest country (Sweden) who have an expected 13.4 mean years of schooling [HDI STATUS], it shows that there’s a sufficient amount of knowledge lost.

The progression of education due to this lack of support from governments and inadequate staff has been reflected through declining rates from 2014 to 2015 learning as passing rates dropped 5.1% (75.8 to 70.7) [Department of Basic Education]. Due to this difference, an immense effect is felt in other areas of wellbeing, like healthcare and employment, causing there to be a disadvantage for children and an unequal opportunity for future employment and income, which divides the nation. Thus, this clearly shows that wellbeing in regards to education is below-average and will continue to decline if something isn’t done.

Healthcare:

Both these topics go hand-in-hand as basic maths/science are predominantly the areas of learning that are most affected by the lack of support, therefore the failure of S.Africa’s education system has had an intense effect on healthcare (science and maths are the main subjects contributing to health). Wellbeing’s stated [by the Happiness Report] to be a combination of numerous factors including a person’s physical, mental, emotional and social factors, strongly linking with happiness and life satisfaction. Healthcare’s highly significant to S.Africa’s wellbeing as it contributes to life expectancy, birth mortality, diseases and illnesses. Wellbeing, in terms of life expectancy at birth, has increased by nearly 6 years for S.Africa since 2005 (which has increased wellbeing), but still stands significantly below OECD average.

In S.Africa, there’s both private and public health systems; public systems serving the vast amount of S.African society. Yet, there’s severe problems within hospitals and medical centres as they’re chronically underfunded, under-qualified and understaffed. Due to not having qualified staff and equipment, people have a shorter lifespan and life expectancy, meaning it’s clear there’s a definite injustice in wellbeing as life would not be as satisfying as those with higher OECD average, like Norway, thus explaining their low 106th wellbeing placement on the Happiness Report.

CONCLUSION: Overall, wellbeing is significantly worse in S.Africa than in other countries and will continue to decline unless action is undertaken to fix the corrupt government; thus funds & support can be provided to where it is needed most – repairing the state of health and educational facilities, resources and adequate staffing.

PART B:Evaluate the success of government and/or non-government initiatives in improving the wellbeing of people in your chosen country. (600 words max) (15 marks) 641 WORDS.

The South African government has implemented numerous strategies to help combat issues and improve the wellbeing of their patrons, yet sadly there’s a large issue that overshadows the initiatives they’ve done. This major issue is government corruption, and it severely affects healthcare and educational services.

Healthcare:

In a recent 2015 research centre survey undertaken, 78% of people surveyed expressed the lack of support the government has, also contributing to the 61% that registered poor education and 57% that stated about poor healthcare and illness response in South Africa.

Despite this, government initiatives that are indeed effective are reinforcement of the Bill of Rights, (section 27 of the Constitution of the Republic of South Africa) which states access to healthcare is a basic human right, to help combat their largest killers. With this in mind, government healthcare professionals and the National Development Plan’s vision have been working towards promoting a long, successful, healthy life by investing more money into their biggest killers, AIDS/HIV and Tuberculosis, which has indeed been successful as the national government is sustainably finding new treatments and preventions, as well as reinvigorating healthcare facilities and new hospital services and systems. This success has been proven as from 2017 to 2018, HIV/AID rates have not risen and been successfully contained and stable at 19% of the entire population.

Non-Government organisations have also strived for success. Equinet (South) Africa effectively is trying to improve wellbeing in the health department by promoting educational programmes for all to access from topics such as HIV/AIDS, poverty’s health factors, health finances + human resources. The Johns Hopkins Centre provides various public health information programs around South Africa sponsored by Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health anywhere, anytime; online and offline. This has definitely improved wellbeing as it shows the current status of health for the average person in South Africa and shows pathways to improving standards of living, which improves life expectancy and mortality rates.

Education:

In 2016/17, almost 100% of 7 to 15-year-old children were enrolled for schooling. However, around 57000 children, who by law should be attending school, failed to show up according to General Household 2015 Survey results. This alarming statistic has alerted the National S.A Government and again, they have undertaken immediate action.

They, once again, are promoting their Bill of Rights, that “Everyone has the right— to basic education, including adult basic education” (S.A.G Constitution). With the South African Government’s guidance, The Deputy Minister of Basic Education in March of 2013 produced and launched an official e-learning project at Sunward Park High School, Boksburg. This meant that this public school became the first of its kind to fully transform into a digital learning platform. This strategy has proved to have worked and for several years, students have reported having ‘gained access to hundreds of learning support applications’ and ‘113 new e-Libraries created’ to support their studies, successfully contributing to the increase of 4% in graduate rates. To help with adult illiteracy, The Kha Ri Gude Mass Literacy Campaign with guidance from the S.African Gov began in 2008, effectively reaching and changing 4.4M illiterate South Africans lives, equivalent to 93.3% of the 4.7M illiterate South Africans identified by Stats SA 2001.

Most of the Non-Government organisations are non-profit and strive to put any funding they receive back towards those who need it most. One of the most successful organisations is the 20+ year ‘Global Alliance for Africa’ which has indeed been effective as these specially designed programs have provided for the needs of over 200,000+ of orphans, vulnerable children and youth, and women, at-risk households and communities in urban slums and remote rural areas. They are truly striving to improve well being by providing libraries for women who need a safe, supportive community and giving them access to education and information from all over the world. This idea has been successful as it’s a contribution to the decreasing rate of violence against women; which potentially could cost countries up to 3.7% of their GDP.

NEWMAN TASK:Analyse the importance of foreign aid in your chosen country. (600 Words) 654 WORDS

“2013 Australian Foreign aid reached an all-time high peak and the reason for its growth is simple. There was the highest demand for aid from neighbouring countries”, like South Africa.

To understand why foreign aid is important, there is a need to understand it first. Foreign aid is the transferral of goods and services between international settings to benefit another country’s population. Foreign aid is definitely needed in South Africa as the percentile of people contracting diseases and illness are gradually rising due to low healthcare and poor sanitation – According to Statistics South Africa’s (Stats SA) Mid-year population estimates 2018, “the total number of persons living with HIV in South Africa increased from an estimated 4,25 million in 2002 to 7,52 million by 2018.”This number alone significantly shows how rapid incurable and curable diseases are spreading throughout this country.

Foreign aid from outsider countries is needed as due to the corrupt government, South African society is not being provided with the supplies and medical support they need to live a sickness-free life. More nurses and doctors, clean food and drinking supplies and materials for better, safer shelter are needed to bring up not only their Human Development Index status (HDI), but this will also benefit patrons’ view on life and raise their 106th position on the World Happiness Report. The South African Society Government and independent organisations together have requested that by 2020, $310,500,000 be implemented from foreign aid to combat the main health issues such as the spread of HIV/AIDS and tuberculosis, fix the declining education system and help decrease the increasing corruption in the government.

In 2013, South Africa demanded one of the largest sums of money they’ve ever needed: $488,777,000 to especially go towards health services and education networks. This was due to the South African National Government having one of the darkest years yet; political threats, corrupt leadership and links to the CIA, and rumours surrounding economic factors had overrun the parliament when the South African citizens needed them most. S.A’s civilization was ignored and neglected when they had one of the highest HIV/AIDS rates ever for the country; 20.4% of the entire population. 44.6% of all children in South Africa dropped out in 2013; the highest dropout rate ever, due to poor facilities and inadequate staff. This is why on the graph above, Australia’s foreign aid had skyrocketed to the highest it had ever been in 2013; to help provide support to those countries, like S.A, that needed it most to combat these issues.

Currently, the country has asked for more as more still needs to be done. ‘The Economist’ has commented on South Africa saying “A shocking 27% of pupils who have attended school for six years cannot read, compared with 4% in Tanzania and 19% in Zimbabwe. After five years of school, about half cannot work out that 24 divided by three is eight.” This shocking statistic clearly shows how crucial foreign aid still is; so that South Africa can fix their declining education system and be able to help all struggling as education plays a large part in life; helps with employment, healthcare and the economy. Children as young as 10/11 are missing out on fundamental building blocks of life through education – so shouldn’t someone want to change that for the future? These donations will help address social, political and educational challenges faced by all ages of South African society. This money would target innovative approaches for reform and improve efficiency, helping South Africa rebuild a strong, supportive democracy and improve the lives of its people. This will dramatically change how the government currently acts upon education + healthcare and will implement strategies to improve services. If action isn’t undertaken now, thousands of people’s lives will suffer due to not getting enough health support and statistics of life mortality, illness and contractions will continue to worsen, as well as life expectancy rates that will decrease lower than they’ve ever been.

Bibliography + References:

  • Brand South Africa. (2019). Health care in South Africa. [online] Available at: https://www.brandsouthafrica.com/south-africa-fast-facts/health-facts/health-care-in-south-africa [Accessed 28 Aug. 2019].
  • Gov.za. (2019). Education | South African Government. [online] Available at: https://www.gov.za/issues/education [Accessed 27 Aug. 2019].
  • Gov.za. (2019). Health | South African Government. [online] Available at: https://www.gov.za/about-sa/health [Accessed 27 Aug. 2019].
  • Hdr.undp.org. (2019). | Human Development Reports. [online] Available at: http://www.hdr.undp.org/en/composite/HDI [Accessed 28 Aug. 2019].
  • Oecd.org. (2019). [online] Available at: https://www.oecd.org/statistics/Better-Life-Initiative-country-note-South-Africa.pdf [Accessed 27 Aug. 2019].
  • Statssa.gov.za. (2019). [online] Available at: https://www.statssa.gov.za/publications/Report-03-40-05/Report-03-40-05June2018.pdf [Accessed 2 Sep. 2019].
  • The Economist. (2019). South Africa has one of the world’s worst education systems. [online] Available at: https://www.economist.com/middle-east-and-africa/2017/01/07/south-africa-has-one-of-the-worlds-worst-education-systems [Accessed 27 Aug. 2019].
  • World Happiness.Report. (2019). World Happiness Report 2019. [online] Available at: https://worldhappiness.report/ed/2019/#read [Accessed 2 Sep. 2019].

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