Prospective Community Studies in Developing Countries

By Monica Das Gupta; Peter Aaby et al. | Go to book overview
Save to active project

9 The Pholela Health Centre: Understanding Health and Disease in South Africa through Community-Oriented Primary Care (COPC)


9.1 The Pholela Health Centre: Origins

The Pholela Health Centre, located in rural Natal, South Africa, was established in April 1940. To grasp its significance, even then, the socio-political circumstances prevailing in the country must be appreciated.

Following passage of the 1913 Land Act, South Africa's African peoples, comprising some 85 per cent of the total population, were relegated to 13 per cent of the country's land area ( Thompson 1990). This precursor of the racially exploitative apartheid system was reinforced by the Land Act of 1936. These 'homelands', largely rural and inhospitable, were distant from the major urban centres and unable to sustain a growing agricultural population or develop a solid industrial base.

From 1939 to 1948 the Smuts-Hofmeyr government pursued a policy that was liberal for those times. This had a considerable influence on health policy in South Africa. Dr Henry Gluckman was appointed Minister of Health in 1946, having previously served as chair of the 1942 National Health Service Commission, and a subsequent Health Centre Advisory Committee. The Gluckman report recommended a National Health Service available 'to all sections of the people of this country according to their needs and not according to their means' ( Gluckman 1947). Under the leadership of Dr Gluckman and Dr George Gale, Chief Health Officer of the Department of Health until the accession of the whites-only National Party in 1948, major steps were taken to lay the basis for a comprehensive health service in South Africa that would be founded on a network of health centres throughout the country. The first of these, the Pholela Health Centre, was to be a model and a forerunner for the network.

In 1938 Sidney Kark, having completed several years of graduate internships, was appointed Medical Officer to head the field team for a 'National Bantu Schoolchildren Nutrition Survey', planned for 1938/9 under the direction of Dr H. S. Gear, Deputy Chief Health Officer of the Department of


Notes for this page

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
Loading One moment ...
Project items
Cite this page

Cited page

Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

Cited page

Bookmark this page
Prospective Community Studies in Developing Countries
Table of contents


Text size Smaller Larger
Search within

Search within this book

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

While we understand printed pages are helpful to our users, this limitation is necessary to help protect our publishers' copyrighted material and prevent its unlawful distribution. We are sorry for any inconvenience.
Full screen
/ 354

matching results for page

Cited passage

Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

Cited passage

Welcome to the new Questia Reader

The Questia Reader has been updated to provide you with an even better online reading experience.  It is now 100% Responsive, which means you can read our books and articles on any sized device you wish.  All of your favorite tools like notes, highlights, and citations are still here, but the way you select text has been updated to be easier to use, especially on touchscreen devices.  Here's how:

1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
2. Click or tap the last word you want to select.

OK, got it!

Thanks for trying Questia!

Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

Already a member? Log in now.

Are you sure you want to delete this highlight?