A gendered critique of the response of Churches Health Association of Zambia (CHAZ) to two selected women's sexual and reproductive health issues in Zambia.
Musonda, Precious Kapolyo.
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This study is a gendered critique of the response of Churches Health Association of Zambia (CHAZ) to the two selected women’s Sexual and Reproductive Health (SRH) issues in Zambia which are HIV and AIDS, and Cervical Cancer. The study was motivated by the high rate of statistics on HIV and AIDS, and cervical cancer among women in Zambia. The purpose of this study was to answer the key question which is; how is CHAZ responding to HIV and AIDS, and cervical cancer as women’s Sexual and Reproductive Health (SRH) issues in Zambia? The CHAZ annual reports, the CHAZ News Bulletin and the CHAZ Health Voice Newsletter were collected and analysed using Rao Gupta’s three of the five “gendered approaches to HIV and AIDS intervention” which served as a theoretical framework for this study. These three approaches include; gender sensitivity, gender equity, and women empowerment. This was a qualitative textual study which used CHAZ documents and other materials sourced from the library and the internet. Critical Discourse Analysis was used as a research methodology for this study. The study established that CHAZ considers HIV and AIDS as one of the diseases of major health concern. CHAZ implements resource mobilization programmes and community based programmes such as Prevention of Mother to Child Transmission (PMTCT), Home Based Care (HBC) and Local Community Competence Building (LCCB) in relation to HIV and AIDS. However, these programmes could be questionable based on the concepts of gender sensitivity, gender equity, and women empowerment. The response of CHAZ to cervical cancer was analyzed using screening programmes, education and women empowerment programmes, and the link between HIV and AIDS and cervical cancer. The CHAZ data that was analyzed at the time of this study did not show any programmes aimed at addressing cervical cancer, except in the PEPFAR and other reports that highlighted the involvement of CHAZ in the pink ribbon campaign. It was also established that the response of CHAZ to cervical cancer remains questionable in relation to gender sensitivity, gender equity and women empowerment because to begin with, cervical cancer is not listed among issues of priority health concern by CHAZ. vii The study also examined four theological underpinnings of CHAZ in relation to women’s SRH issues. The first one was ecumenical theology as a Christian value of CHAZ. It was established that this theology was significant to CHAZ in addressing women’s SRH issues as it commands wider influence because of this theology. However, it was also established that it could pose a challenge to CHAZ’s response in relation to women’s SRH issues because it is composed of health institutions which are under different denominations with different views on women’s SRH issues. The second one was a scriptural theological response of CHAZ. This was found to be life-giving as it is the basis of CHAZ’s response to women’s SRH issues. However, the study established that the patriarchal tendencies that emanate from scripture affected how CHAZ responds to HIV and AIDS and cervical cancer. The theology of a healthy and productive life for all was also found to be significant to CHAZ‘s response as it stemmed from its mission statement. However, it was established that HIV and AIDS and cervical cancer pose a challenge to this theology. Lastly, the theology of a holistic approach to health care service delivery was considered as significant to the response of CHAZ to the two SRH issues, as it emphasized healing, both in terms of the physical and the spiritual aspect.
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