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Rural seniors’ access to health care: a review of the issues in developing countries and an illustration from grandmothers in rural South Africa

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Thesis type
(Project) M.Sc.
Date created
The number of older people globally is rapidly increasing, as are their health care needs. In developing countries, where governments already struggle to provide adequate health care to their general populations, seniors experience tremendous barriers in accessing health care. This paper explores the concept of access and the challenges older people in developing countries face in obtaining health care. It also presents research done in a remote rural area of South Africa to identify health access challenges of grandmothers of AIDS orphans. Methods included a survey (N=50) and additional staff interviews. Participants experienced similar barriers to accessing health services as do seniors in other developing countries: distances to health centres, inability or challenges walking due to health conditions that come with ageing, lack of roads, costs of transportation, and lack of time due to household responsibilities. More effort is needed to meet the health needs of this older generation.
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Thesis advisor: Corbett, Kitty
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