African Journal of Disability - latest Issue
Volume 6, Issue 1, 2017
Author Maria BerghsSource: African Journal of Disability 6, pp 1 –8 (2017)More Less
Background: Southern African scholars and activists working in disability studies have argued that ubuntu or unhu is a part of their world view.
Objectives: Thinking seriously about ubuntu, as a shared collective humanness or social ethics, means to examine how Africans have framed a struggle for this shared humanity in terms of decolonisation and activism.
Method: Three examples of applications of ubuntu are given, with two mainly linked to making explicit umaka. Firstly, ubuntu is linked to making visible the invisible inequalities for a common humanity in South Africa. Secondly, it becomes correlated to the expression of environmental justice in West and East African countries.
Results: An African model of disability that encapsulates ubuntu is correlated to how Africans have illustrated a social ethics of a common humanity in their grassroots struggles against oppression and disablement in the 20th century. Ubuntu also locates disability politically within the wider environment and practices of sustainability which are now important to the post-2105 agenda, Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD) and the (UN) Sustainable Development Goals linked to climate change.
Conclusion: A different kind of political action linked to social justice seems to be evolving in line with ubuntu. This has implications for the future of disability studies.
Community stakeholders’ perspectives on the role of occupational therapy in primary healthcare : implications for practiceSource: African Journal of Disability 6, pp 1 –12 (2017) http://dx.doi.org/10.4102/ajod.v6i0.255More Less
Background: Primary healthcare (PHC) is central to increased access and transformation in South African healthcare. There is limited literature about services required by occupational therapists in PHC. Despite policy being in place, the implementation of services at grassroots level does not always occur adequately.
Objectives: This study aimed at gaining an understanding of the challenges of being disabled and the services required by occupational therapists (OTs) in rural communities in order to better inform the occupational therapy (OT) training curriculum.
Method: An exploratory, descriptive qualitative design was implemented using purposive sampling to recruit 23 community healthcare workers from the uGu district. Snowball sampling was used to recruit 37 members of the uGu community, which included people with disability (PWD) and caregivers of PWDs. Audio-recorded focus groups and semi-structured interviews were used to collect data, which were thematically analysed. Ethical approval was obtained from the Biomedical and Research Ethics Committee of the University of KwaZulu- Natal (BE248/14).
Results: Two main themes emerged namely: firstly, the challenges faced by the disabled community and secondly appropriate opportunities for intervention in PHC. A snapshot of the social and physical inaccessibility challenges experienced by the community was created. Challenges included physical and sexual abuse, discrimination and marginalisation. Community-based rehabilitation and ideas for health promotion and prevention were identified as possible strategies for OT intervention.
Conclusion: The understanding of the intervention required by OT in PHC was enhanced through obtaining the views of various stakeholders’ on the role. This study highlighted the gaps in community-based services that OTs should offer in this context.