Abstract Submissions


Submission Deadline 31st May 2022

RHC2022 Theme: Learning, Adapting, and Thriving 

The Covid-19 Pandemic posed immense challenges on our health services and us as people. This forced us to learn, adapt and thrive – and we believe that in rural areas we are one step ahead of the rest. This is achieved by innovative and passionate health professionals working with our communities. We are used to dealing with crisis, allocating limited resources, strengthening systems, thinking outside the box, distant learning, and being connected to families and showing compassion until the end of life. 

At this conference we will have a change to share our accomplishments, learn through our challenges and be inspired to thrive. 

Rural just is different!

In drawing up your abstract, please align it as far as possible with the overall conference theme “Learning, Adapting and Thriving”. The idea is to share how rural health workers coped with rural challenges including the pandemic and others: how they adapted, but also how they learnt, or engaged with educational programmes, in order to thrive. 

Not sure if your topic fits our theme? Read about our streams below, and the details on the Information for Presenters page or contact us at abstracts@ruralhealthconference.org.za

Not sure if you will have funding? Please submit your abstract, there is place in the submission form to indicate you need funding confirmed. You only have to confirm attendance & payment once the abstract has been accepted.

The 4 streams

Every year, the Rural Health Conference is organised around four streams, covering the key facets of achieving the right to health for rural populations. The annual conference theme adds the particular focus for the presentations, discussions and keynote speakers which fall under each stream:

Rural Teams: Understanding our unique roles & shared responsibilities within the healthcare team is essential for delivering a comprehensive primary/district health care service and achieving universal health coverage. Rural healthcare workers often have the benefit of small teams and therefore unique opportunities for multidisciplinary learning and service delivery. Trans-disciplinary teamwork needs to begin at undergraduate level and continue through community service and afterward. Strong mentoring, supervision and leadership is needed for this to take place. 

Health Systems Management & Policy: Wonderful health policies mean nothing unless they are translated into clear service packages in every province, with the resources to support their implementation.. Health systems management focuses on the budgeting and resources required for strengthening service delivery as well as governance structures, quality improvement measures and inter-sectoral partnerships. Strong management is vital for effective & efficient health care which narrows the service delivery gaps between urban & rural areas.

Community engagement & the voice of end users: community engagement relates to working with the community around the health facility as well as the Department of Health working with user groups, health advocates, alternative health workers, and the professional associations to identify the health issues, health needs, and professional solutions that can be offered to ensure Universal Health Care for all our citizens.

Clinical Practice: we need to  translate policy into effective practice. This can be done by identifying: best practice models of service delivery, the gaps between policy & practice, and educating private practitioners in equity, DoH systems and DoH standard treatment guidelines with a view to the NHI.

We welcome abstracts of all types and from all members of the multidisciplinary team, students and NGOs. This is a rural conference so the presentation should be applicable to rural situations. Presenters are automatically registered for the conference at the "presenters" rate while waiting for the outcome of their abstract submission.

Types of Presentations

Oral and Poster Presentations can be case studies, descriptions of programmes, formal research projects, ethical issues, highlighting service related problems, new ideas in prevention or care, etc.

Workshop presentations should always include active participation of the delegates and so need to be either developing a skill, group exercises to understand concepts/issues, strategic planning etc. A series of oral presentations on the same topic is NOT a workshop.

Keynote speakers are specially invited by the RHC Committee to lead a sub theme at the conference.

Plenary sessions are at the discretion of the RHC Organising Committee

A-V equipment is available for all keynotes, oral presentations, panels, plenaries and workshops.

Oral presentations are 15 minutes with 5 minutes discussion or time for questions.

Posters should be accompanied by an oral presentation of 10 minutes, including time for questions. Poster size: A0 (preferably portrait orientation). No A-V equipment.

Panel discussions: 30 - 60 minutes depending on number of panelists, or the topic

Plenaries: 60 minutes. Plenary speakers are invited by the RHC Organising Committee. If you think your topic should be a plenary session you may request this in the Abstract Submission.

Workshop: times are either 60 or 120 minutes. It is possible to have longer workshop times but this can only be confirmed once the draft programme is developed.

Longer Pre-Conference Workshops are possible but require separate CPD points and must have a confirmed delegate list. Pre-Conference Workshops must be in partnership with one of the Conference Partners (RuDASA, RuReSA,PACASA or RuNurSA). These workshops can be attended by a wider range of people who do not have to sign up for the entire conference i.e. they can just attend the Pre-Conference Workshop.

If you think your presentation fulfils the criteria for ethics points, please give reasons.

Person presenting at the conference should be the first name if there are several authors, and the contact details and biosketch should be for the person presenting the paper. Abstracts should be short - not more than 300 words.

All abstracts go through a peer review system. A draft programme is developed after all abstracts are reviewed. The authors will be contacted to confirm their abstract has been accepted and for them to confirm they will attend once the draft programme has been developed. If you need to be confirmed early because you are trying to get funding to attend please contact us.

If there are still spaces in programme at this point there will be a Final Call for Abstracts.

Submit an Abstract