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Women's Health in Rural Uganda: Problems, Coping Strategies, and Recommendations for Change La santé des femmes vivant en région rurale en Ouganda : problèmes, mécanismes d'adaptation et recommandations

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Abstract:

This study draws upon 63 semi-structured interviews with rural women in central Uganda to elicit women's health problems, coping mechanisms, and recommendations for improved health services. The health problems most commonly reported by the women were sexually transmitted diseases, especially syphilis, abdominal pain, genital sores, and mental stress. Women indicated several barriers to obtaining health care, such as inaccessibility to health-care facilities, lack of time and money, and dependence on men for permission to leave the home. In response, they had devised several coping strategies for addressing their health problems, including ignoring the problem, self-care/medication, use of herbal/traditional medicine, and secret use of family planning services. The women indicated a need for medical laboratory services; family planning services; antenatal, maternity, and gynaecological services; and health counselling. They recommended health education for both genders, particularly for men regarding family planning.

French
Basée sur 63 entrevues semi-structurées, cette étude fait état des problèmes de santé et des mécanismes d'adaptation des femmes vivant en région rurale dans le centre de l'Ouganda et présente des recommandations concernant les services de santé. Les infections transmissibles sexuellement, en particulier la syphilis, les douleurs abdominales, les lésions génitales et la tension mentale comptent parmi les problèmes les plus souvent cités. Les répondantes ont relevé plusieurs obstacles à l'accès aux soins de santé, dont l'inaccessibilité des services de santé, le manque de temps et d'argent et l'obligation d'obtenir la permission des hommes pour sortir de la maison. Face à ces problèmes, elles font appel à différentes stratégies d'adaptation : ignorer le problème; se soigner elles-mêmes; faire appel aux herbes médicinales et à la médecine traditionnelle; recourir en cachette aux services de planification familiale. Parmi les besoins relevés par les répondantes, soulignons la présence de laboratoires médicaux de services de planification familiale, de services prénatals, de protection de la maternité et gynécologiques et de services de consultation en matière de santé. Les auteurs formulent des recommandations concernant l'éducation sur la santé s'adressant aux deux sexes, en particulier aux hommes en ce qui concerne la planification familiale.

Keywords: ACCESS TO HEALTH CARE; COPING STRATEGIES; DEVELOPING COUNTRY; GENDER; HEALTH OF RURAL AFRICAN WOMEN; TRADITIONAL MEDICINE; UGANDA

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: September 1, 2007

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