The purpose of this page is learning, information dissemination, and scientific debate for those interested in Egypt's public health and its linkages to human development and social justice. In doing so, this page is committed to have a neutral stand and to present all views equally. This blog is based on the work of different experts in their field.

Monday, August 29, 2011

Engagement of Social Change Agents in Improving Women's Health in Egypt


5016.0: Wednesday, November 07, 2007 - Board 9

Abstract #163425

Engagement of Social Change Agents in Improving Women's Health in Egypt

Alaa Hamed, MD1, Irene Anne Jillson, PhD2, Mostafa Mohamed, PhD3, and Maged ElSetouhy, MD3. (1) World Bank, Cairo Office in care of, 1818 H Street, N.W., Washington, 20433, Egypt, (202) 473-1000,alaahamed@worldbank.org, (2) School of Nursing and Health Studies, Georgetown University, 3700 Reservoir Road, N.W., St. Mary's Hall, Washington, DC 20057, (3) Egyptian Smoking Prevention Research Institute, 10 Kaser Al-Aini Street, Cairo, Egypt

One of the key questions in women's health is the degree to and ways in which community-based health and/or social interventionists impact on women's empowerment, and in particular on women's health practices and treatment-seeking behavior. In two recent World Bank projects, Social Change Agents (SCAs) were found to have had demonstrable impact on the women and families of the households with which they interacted: playing a vital role in improving health practices and treatment-seeking behavior. A qualitative study conducted by Georgetown University School of Nursing and Health Studies (GU-NHS), in collaboration with the Egyptian Smoking Prevention Research Institute (ESPRI), was carried out to explore the role that SCAs played in influencing women's health seeking behavior within the household and the community. The study included analysis of secondary data and in-depth interviews conducted with key World Bank project team members, officials from the Ministry of Health and Population and Social Fund for Development (SFD), twenty-five SCAs and 20 household members. Through household visits and other activities during which they delivered health education messages and engaged with the women and their families, they helped the women to 1) increase their use of reproductive health services; 2) increase and improve access to and appropriate use of health centers and self-care for themselves and their family members; 3) increase their, and their family's, acceptance of male physicians as caregivers for women; and 4) discuss health issues and “healthy alternatives” with their husbands and other family members, including the issue of child spacing and female circumcision. Factors that facilitated the ability of the SCAs to carry out their roles included availability of accessible health centers and MOHP mobile health units, clear and integrated project and component design relevant to needs of villages, availability of loans for income-generating projects. The study findings have implications for public policy in Egypt, for donor funding of community-level and other programs targeting women's health, and for local government engagement with community NGOs and faith communities to engender their support for strengthening women's capacity to engage in appropriate health practices and treatment-seeking behavior.

The Full Report

الملخص العربي:

دور "وكلاء التغيير الاجتماعي"  (المرشدات الصحيات) في تحسين صحة المرأة في مصر. 

قامت مدرسة دراسات التمريض و الصحة التابعة لجامعة جورج واشنطن، بالتعاون مع المعهد المصري لابحاث الوقاية من التدخين، بإجراء دراسة عن الدور الذي لعبته المرشدات الصحيات في التأثير علي سلوك المرأة الصرية في اتباع السلوك الصحي داخل المنزل و في المجتمع. جاءت هذه الدراسة لتجيب علي احد الأسئلة الهامة عن نوعية التدخلات الصحية المرتكزة علي المجتمع و التدخلات الاجتماعية و مدي تأثيرها علي تمكين المرأة، وخاصة على الممارسات الصحية للمرأة والسلوك الساعي إلى العلاج.

وقد خلصت الدراسة الي ان "وكلاء التغيير الاجتماعي"  (المرشدات الصحيات) لهم أثر ملموس على النساء والأسر الذين تم التفاعل معهم: فهم لعبوا دوراً حيويا في تحسين الممارسات الصحية والسلوك الساعي إلى العلاج. فمن خلال الزيارات المنزلية وغيرها من الأنشطة قاموا من خلالها بتقديم رسائل التوعية الصحية، وتفاعلوا مع النساء وأسرهن، فهم ساعدوا المرأة إلى 1) زيادة استخدام خدمات الصحة الإنجابية؛ 2) زيادة الاتاحة وتحسين الوصول إلى الاستخدام المناسب لمراكز الصحة و وزيادة قدراتهم علي الرعاية الذاتية لأنفسهم وأفراد أسرهم؛ 3) زيادة قبولهم وافراد أسرتهم للأطباء الذكور كمقدمين للرعاية للمرأة؛ و 4) مناقشة القضايا الصحية و "البدائل صحية" مع أزواجهن وأفراد الأسرة الآخرين، بما في ذلك قضية ختان الإناث والمباعدة. 

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