South African Women & Access to Health Care

After watching the movie Yesterday, it made me realize how many things that we take for granted on a daily basis. The big issue that stuck out to me the most throughout the film was the limited access that they had to health care. In the film, Yesterday had developed a cough that had been bothering her for some time. When she decided to go see a doctor the closest clinic was not just a short walk away. She had to walk over two hours just to get to the clinic. Not only was there a long line once she got there, but she also had to walk all of the way back to her village after waiting in line all day and had not been seen by the doctor. The clinic was only open on Tuesdays and only had one doctor. It took quite a few tries before the doctor could see Yesterday.

Unfortunately, when Yesterday was finally able to see the doctor, it comes back that she is HIV positive. HIV and AIDS are a huge problem in South Africa. It is estimated that about 30.2% of women between the ages of 15 and 49 are living with HIV in 2010. Not only does this movie show the difficulties associated with access to health care but provides a wide scope of a bigger issue dealing with health care, HIV and AIDS.

The lack of health care facilities and doctors not only in South Africa, but also throughout the entire continent is a devastating reality. In the book Half The Sky, by Nicholas Kristof and Sheryl WuDunn, the issue is brought up more than once.The problem is not only the lack of health care facilities, but also the lack of doctors and supplies.

The construction of hospital’s like The Edna Adan Maternity Hospital, the HEAL Africa Hospital, and the Addis Ababa Fistula Hospital are a step closer to helping these communities and the countries make for a future and can address health problems and concerns. Every little step makes a difference.


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