The Rural Health Advocacy Project (RHAP)
The Rural Health Advocacy Project (RHAP) advocates for improved access to high quality, comprehensive health care services in rural areas with the aim of improving the health of the South African population. The RHAP is a partnership between the Wits Centre for Rural Health, the Rural Doctors Association of Southern Africa (RuDASA) and SECTION 27 (previously the Aids Law Project), based in Johannesburg, South Africa. It was launched in August 2009 in response to the specific health challenges in rural areas.
The focus areas of the initiative are:
- Voice: This priority addresses the need to make rural health more visible to key stakeholders, such as the government, the media and the general public, by highlighting challenges and good practices.
- Policy: This priority entails the rural-proofing of existing and new policies and guidelines.
- Implementation: This priority area focuses on actual implementation on the ground in relation to HR and Health Systems. The RHAP will monitor and gather evidence on these issues and give them to the relevant stakeholders to act upon.
Links to the health workforce crisis
The human resources for health crisis in South Africa is one of our key focus areas. Our current activities include:
- Advocate for human resources for health interventions through engagement of the National Department of Health and other stakeholders.
- Development of a position paper on rural health care: challenges and priority interventions.
- Advocate for a National Rural Health Strategy with a strong focus on HRH.
- Maintaining and updating a fact sheet on rural health in South Africa with a section dedicated to HRH.
- Development of rural proofing criteria for policy-making.
- Identifying research gaps and undertaking and/or commissioning relevant research.