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05.07.2018 | Original Article

Informal health care: examining the role of women and challenges faced as caregivers in rural and urban settings in Ghana

Zeitschrift:
Journal of Public Health
Autoren:
Williams Agyemang-Duah, Charlotte Monica Mensah, Prince Peprah, Francis Arthur, Bright Addai, Emmanuel Mawuli Abalo

Abstract

Objective

Globally, the informal health sector is continuing to experience increasing growth despite the parallel development of the formal health care sector over the years. However, studies in Ghana concerning caregiving are limited since little attention has been given to the informal health care sector. This study therefore explores the role of women as caregivers and the challenges they face in the Kumasi Metropolis and Ejisu Juaben Municipality in Ashanti Region of Ghana.

Methods

In-depth interviews were conducted with 20 caregivers from the two study areas. Data were analyzed and presented based on a content and thematic analysis approach.

Results

Findings from the study showed that caregivers perform key roles including those of a domestic, health care, economic, social and spiritual nature. However, caregivers were confronted with many challenges, including inadequate funds, inability to work effectively, prolonged stress, limited time for socialization and emotional trauma.

Conclusion

For caregivers to perform their roles efficiently and effectively, government and health care authorities must provide them with immediate financial support and training. Also, in the near future policy makers should put a comprehensive policy in place to bolster caregiving in general.

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