Agricultural Migrant Workers Navigating the Health System: Access, Continuity of Care and the Role of Community Health Workers in De Doorns, Western Cape
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South Africa has an estimated two million documented and undocumented immigrants. In addition, Statistics South Africa (2014) notes very significant internal migration. This mobile population is affected by chronic communicable and non-communicable diseases such as TB, HIV, and diabetes, although it has a Constitutional right to health and healthcare. Their quality of healthcare and disease control also affects the general population and the burden on the health system can be increased by inadequately managed chronic conditions as well as acute health care needs. Access to healthcare and continuity of care reflect both patient agency and the health system. Community Health Workers (CHWs) play an important role in linking communities and patients to health services and vice versa. The aim of this study was to understand how agricultural migrants in the Cape Winelands District of Western Cape Province of South Africa navigated the healthcare system to access healthcare services including securing continuity of care, and in particular the role of CHWs in this process, in order to inform policy and practice.
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