Probing the context of vulnerability: Zimbabwean migrant women’s experiences of accessing public health care in South Africa.
Mutambara, Victoria M.
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South Africa has a professed inclusive health policy that articulates that everyone is entitled to have access to health-care services, regardless of nationality and citizenship. However, several challenges exist for migrant women in South Africa, in accessing this health care. This paper, based on the experiences of Zimbabwean migrant women residing in Durban, focuses on their experiences of seeking and accessing health-care services in South Africa. Using a qualitative study design, semi-structured interviews were conducted with 22 purposively sampled female participants aged 25–49 years. This paper employs a structural-violence analysis to probe the underlying factors that make it challenging for Zimbabwean migrant women to access public health-care services in South Africa. The findings of this paper highlight that the lack of valid immigration documentation, often makes it challenging for participants to access services from public hospitals and clinics. The findings also reveal that the state of the South African public health-care system predisposes migrant women to health risks.