Eye health promotion-oriented policy statements in various national and provincial health policy documents in South Africa

African Vision and Eye Health

Field Value
Title Eye health promotion-oriented policy statements in various national and provincial health policy documents in South Africa
Creator Sithole, Hlupheka L.
Subject Primary care, optometry, public health eye health promotion; eye healthcare policy; integration of eye healthcare policies; health promotion messages; national eye health guidelines
Description Background: There are many fragmented public health policies that give directives towards various aspects of healthcare needs and implementation. However, none of these policies make specific reference to eye health promotion (EHP) as an enabler for individuals to take control of the determinants of their eye health (EH) needs.Aim: The current study sought to identify EHP messages in the various available policy documents at both national and provincial health department levels with a view to assessing awareness on the available gaps for the development of an integrated EHP policy in South Africa.Setting: The study used documents provided by the National Department of Health and those that were available online from various other provincial Departments of Health in the country.Methods: Content analysis of EH policies requested from the Directorate of Chronic Diseases, Disabilities and Geriatrics was conducted. Various other health policies that were enacted post-1994 and endorsed by the National and Provincial Departments of Health were also considered for analysis.Results: Twenty-four documents were considered for content analysis. The national guidelines on eye healthcare made reference to EH activities such as immunisation of children, vision screening of the elderly, vitamin A supplementation and maternal services to detect sexually transmitted diseases, amongst others. Of the 20 national and provincial health documents analysed, only four made reference to EH. None of these documents made any specific reference to EHP.Conclusion: Although four national guidelines contain content related to EHP, the fragmentation and lack of integration with other health policy documents may lead to eye healthcare messages not being prioritised for dissemination even where they are highly required. Also, public eye healthcare services in general will continue to lag behind as is the case in most provinces in South Africa.
Publisher AOSIS
Contributor University of South Africa National Research Foundation
Date 2022-01-12
Type info:eu-repo/semantics/article info:eu-repo/semantics/publishedVersion — Content analysis: qualitative research
Format text/html application/epub+zip text/xml application/pdf
Identifier 10.4102/aveh.v81i1.597
Source African Vision and Eye Health; Vol 81, No 1 (2022); 7 pages 2410-1516 2413-3183
Language eng
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https://avehjournal.org/index.php/aveh/article/view/597/1730 https://avehjournal.org/index.php/aveh/article/view/597/1731 https://avehjournal.org/index.php/aveh/article/view/597/1732 https://avehjournal.org/index.php/aveh/article/view/597/1733
Coverage Africa; South Africa 2009-2017 Health documents
Rights Copyright (c) 2022 Hlupheka Lawrence Sithole https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0