n Missionalia : Southern African Journal of Mission Studies - Health-seeking behaviours of the members of the Africa Gospel Church

Volume 34, Issue Issue-2/3
  • ISSN : 0256-9507



Qualitative, ethno-nursing research was conducted to investigate the health-seeking behaviours of the members of the Africa Gospel Church in Francistown, Botswana. Semi-structured interviews involving church leaders and congregants were conducted. The purpose was to obtain data on the informants' health-seeking behaviours and the underlying religious beliefs, prescriptions and practices. The research findings revealed denominational authority over the lifestyle, health-seeking behaviours and the health care practices of the church members. The congregants seek health care from the priests and prophets. The western scientific health care services are utilised selectively provided that permission is obtained from a priest and cleansing rituals are performed. There is a potential for collaborating with the church to enhance the congregants' access to primary health care. This can be achieved by utilising the existing church structures and home-based care practices, and by providing training especially to the priests and lay care givers. The social control exercised by the church supports a healthy lifestyle and various health care practices can be incorporated into a culturally congruent nursing care plan. It would be necessary to negotiate changes to potentially harmful health care prescriptions and practices.

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