Community-Level Challenges in Global Health Delivery

It is important to understand the complexities and realities of delivering healthcare services.  Perceptions about illness can be an initial obstacle, as sickness can have a socially crippling stigma.  Health interventions are sometimes resisted and avoided by communities because they have heard rumors that certain surgeries and treatments lead to negative outcomes.  Medical doctors sometimes are in competition with traditional healers who treat patients, and it is important that they work in concert with one another.  Weather can significantly hinder patient uptake of medical services, as periods such as farming season, wet seasons, and hot seasons can make long distance travel difficult.  Family dynamics are also important to consider, as some cultures and countries require women to receive permission from their husbands in order to receive medical care.  Health service workers must be culturally competent and able to communicate with locals, be well-versed in community values, willing to adjust to local cultural norms, and foster an interactive dialogue with patients.

This course is freely and publicly available. It is also part of the Certificate in Global Health Practice. Enroll in the Certificate in Global Health Practice Through Global Health University.

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