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Curationis

On-line version ISSN 0379-8577

Abstract

MCHUNU, GG. The levels of Community Involvement in Health (CIH): A case of rural and urban communities in KwaZulu-Natal. Curationis [online]. 2009, vol.32, n.1, pp. 4-13. ISSN 0379-8577.

The study aimed to describe the practice of community involvement in health programmes. The study therefore explored the nature and practice of community involvement in health programmes in the two communities in KwaZulu Natal. The study was guided by the conceptual framework adapted from Arnstein's,( 1969) Ladder of Citizen Participation. This framework shows different levels and steps in community participation. A case study method was used to conduct the study. The two cases were one urban based and one rural based community health centers in the Ilembe health district, in Kwa Zulu Natal. A sample of 31 persons participated in the study. The sample comprised 8 registered nurses, 2 enrolled nurses 13 community members and 8 community health workers. Data was collected using structured individual interviews and focus group interviews, and was guided by the case protocol. Community involvement in health largely depended on the type of community, with rural community members being in charge of their health projects and urban community members helping each other as neighbours in times of need.

Keywords : Community involvement in health; ladder of participation; Primary health care; and health programmes.

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