Informal health care: examining the role of women and challenges faced as caregivers in rural and urban settings in Ghana

Williams AGYEMANG-DUAH*, Charlotte Monica MENSAH, Prince PEPRAH, Francis ARTHUR, Bright ADDAI, Emmanuel Mawuli ABALO

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Journal PublicationsJournal Article (refereed)

2 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Objective
Globally, the informal health sector is continuing to experience increasing growth despite the parallel development of the formal health care sector over the years. However, studies in Ghana concerning caregiving are limited since little attention has been given to the informal health care sector. This study therefore explores the role of women as caregivers and the challenges they face in the Kumasi Metropolis and Ejisu Juaben Municipality in Ashanti Region of Ghana.

Methods
In-depth interviews were conducted with 20 caregivers from the two study areas. Data were analyzed and presented based on a content and thematic analysis approach.

Results
Findings from the study showed that caregivers perform key roles including those of a domestic, health care, economic, social and spiritual nature. However, caregivers were confronted with many challenges, including inadequate funds, inability to work effectively, prolonged stress, limited time for socialization and emotional trauma.

Conclusion
For caregivers to perform their roles efficiently and effectively, government and health care authorities must provide them with immediate financial support and training. Also, in the near future policy makers should put a comprehensive policy in place to bolster caregiving in general.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)321-327
JournalJournal of Public Health
Volume27
Issue number3
Early online date5 Jul 2018
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2019
Externally publishedYes

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