oa South African Family Practice - A critical look at health : open forum

Volume 46, Issue 7
  • ISSN : 2078-6190
  • E-ISSN: 2078-6204



When defining health, it is clear that good health is not simply a state in which there is an absence of disease. A progressive definition of health conceptualises health more holistically and views it as a state of complete physical, psychosocial and spiritual well-being. Further, it is important to understand the role of factors such as cultural and economic ones in maintaining wellness and, ultimately, health in individuals, communities and societies. Maintaining and promoting health in developing countries is a major challenge, because these countries are under-resourced. The health experience of individuals must be located within the context of gender, class and ethnicity/race. These variables are important in shaping health outcomes. Measuring quality of life in developing world contexts is crucial if one is to effect change and influence the way in which health outcomes are determined in the future.

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