Migration and health : exploring the experiences of African migrant car guards in Durban, KwaZulu-Natal.
Mchunu, Snegugu Lerato.
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Background: Ensuring adequate provision of healthcare for immigrants remains a global challenge, and it is thought that understanding the complexities that immigrants encounter when seeking health care will improve their access to healthcare. Aim: This study aimed to explore the experiences of African-immigrant car guards working in eThekwini, South Africa, in accessing healthcare services. Methodology: The data for the study was collected through the use of in-depth interviews with 16 purposively-selected respondents who are African-immigrant car guards. The data was analysed by making use of the thematic analysis approach. Results: The findings are that most of the respondents have a good perception of the South African health system. However, the language barrier is still a major challenge for many immigrants when utilising health services. The coping mechanism adopted by the respondents is remaining calm, regardless of how frustrated they become as a result of the language barrier. Male respondents commonly use over the counter medication from pharmacies to avoid long lines and the time consumed at clinics. Respondents who had higher levels of education tend to be better informed of healthcare services available to them. Conclusion: Future advocacy campaigns pitching for a policy shift should focus more on ensuring that immigrants become fully aware of information pertaining to healthcare facilities and services available to them.