(Un)healthy Migration

(Un)healthy Migration

The Southern African Development Community (SADC) is a region associated with high rates of population mobility – mostly associated with movement within and across national borders to access improved livelihood opportunities, a high prevalence of communicable diseases – notably HIV and tuberculosis, and inequity in health and well-being. Migration is acknowledged to be a central determinant of health and well-being, and the bidirectional nature of this relationship – with health and well-being influencing migration – is increasingly recognised. In spite of this, policy, programmatic and health system responses to health and well-being within the SADC region fail to engage with the movement of people. Key to this failure is that discussions related to the development of responses to population mobility and health are inherently political, often fuelled by anti-foreigner sentiments and unsupported claims negatively associating migrants with the spread of communicable diseases. Evidence-informed responses are lacking and current health responses – including communicable disease control programmes – will continue to struggle unless the movement of people is considered. This research theme explores migration as a social determinant of health and well-being, and explores the associations between policy responses and the lived experiences of diverse migrant groups in the region.

This theme includes the Migration and Health Project Southern Africa (maHp), supported by a Wellcome Trust Investigator Award held by Associate Professor Jo Vearey. Through a series of unique research and public engagement projects, the Migration and Health Project Southern Africa (maHp) aims to explore (and evaluate) ways to generate and communicate knowledge in order to improve responses to migration, health and well-being in the SADC region. Multiple disciplinary perspectives, mixed method approaches, and the involvement of various stakeholders – including migrants themselves – are central considerations. See below for the most recent publications under this theme.






2017 publications

Hanefeld, J., Vearey, J., Lunt, N. on behalf of the Researchers on Migration, Mobility and Health Group. 2017. A global research agenda on migration, mobility, and health. The Lancet, 389, 2358-2359.

Kamndaya, M., Pisa, P., Chersich, M., Decker, M., Olumide, A., Acharya, R., Cheng, Y. 2017. Intersections between polyvictimisation and mental health among adolescents in five urban disadvantaged settings: the role of gender. BMC Public Health, 17, 41-50.

Mahlangu, P., Vearey, J., Thomas, E., Goudge, J. 2017. Implementing a multi-sectoral response to HIV: A case study of AIDS Councils in the Mpumalanga Province, South Africa. Global Health Action, 10, 1-11.

Makandwa, T., Vearey, J. 2017. Giving birth in a foreign land: Exploring the maternal healthcare experiences of Zimbabwean migrant women living in Johannesburg, South Africa. Urban Forum, 28, 75-90.

Musoni, F. 2017. Cross-border mobility, violence and spiritual healing in Beitbridge District, Zimbabwe. Journal of Southern African Studies, 42, 317-331.

Scorgie, F., Vearey, J., Oliff, M., Stadler, J., Venables, E., Chersich, M., Delany-Moretlwe, S. 2017. ‘Leaving no one behind’: reflections on the design of community-based HIV prevention for migrants in Johannesburg’s inner-city hostels and informal settlements. BMC Public Health, 17, 1-12.

Vearey, J. 2017. Urban Health in Johannesburg: Migration, Exclusion and Inequality. Urban Forum, 28, 1-4.

Vearey, J., Modisenyane, M., Hunter-Adams, J. 2017. Towards a migration-aware health system in South Africa: A strategic opportunity to address health inequity. South African Health Review20, 89-98.

Vearey, J., Thomson, K., Sommers, T., Sprague, C. 2017. Analysing local-level responses to migration and urban health in Hillbrow: The Johannesburg Migrant Health Forum. BMC Public Health, 17, 89-93.

2016 publications

Jinnah, Z., 2016. Cultural Causations and Expressions of Distress: a Case Study of Buufis Amongst Somalis in Johannesburg. Urban Forum 28, 111–123.

Kamndaya, M., Kazembe, L.N., Vearey, J., Kabiru, C.W., Thomas, L., 2015. Material deprivation and unemployment affect coercive sex among young people in the urban slums of Blantyre, Malawi: A multi-level approach. Health & place 33, 90–100.

Musoni, F., 2016. Cross-Border Mobility, Violence and Spiritual Healing in Beitbridge District, Zimbabwe. Journal of Southern African Studies 42, 317–331.

Scheibe, A., Richter, M., Vearey, J., 2016. Sex work and South Africa’s health system: addressing the needs of the underserved. South African Health Review 2016, 165–178.

Sibanda, T. S., 2016. HIV and AIDS Discourses- Implications for Governance and Conflict in Some Parts of Southern Africa. Journal of Good Governance and Sustainable Development in Africa 3, 48-62.

Vearey, J., 2016. Mobility, migration and generalised HIV epidemics: a focus on sub-Saharan Africa. Handbook of Migration and Health 340.

Vearey, J., de Gruchy, T., Kamndaya, M., Walls, H.L., Chetty-Makkan, C.M., Hanefeld, J., 2016. Exploring the migration profiles of primary health care users in South Africa. Journal of immigrant and minority health, 1–10.

Walker, R., 2016. Selling Sex, Mothering and ‘Keeping Well ‘in the City: Reflecting on the Everyday Experiences of Cross-Border Migrant Women Who Sell Sex in Johannesburg. Urban Forum 28, 59–73.

Walls, H.L., Vearey, J., Modisenyane, M., Chetty-Makkan, C.M., Charalambous, S., Smith, R.D., Hanefeld, J., 2016. Understanding health care and population mobility in southern Africa: The case of South Africa. SAMJ: South African Medical Journal 106, 14–15.

Wilhelm-Solomon, M., 2016. Disease as Dwelling: Sustaining Life with HIV in Post-displacement Northern Uganda. African Studies 75, 316–337.

2015 publications

Kamndaya, M., Vearey, J., Thomas, L., Kabiru, C.W., Kazembe, L.N., 2016. The role of material deprivation and consumerism in the decisions to engage in transactional sex among young people in the urban slums of Blantyre, Malawi. Global public health 11, 295–308.

Kuehne, A., Huschke, S., Bullinger, M., 2015. Subjective health of undocumented migrants in Germany-A mixed methods approach. BMC Public Health 15, 1-12.

Zulu, M., Wilhelm-Solomon, M., 2015. Tormented by Umnyama: An Urban Cosmology of Migration and Misfortune in Inner-City Johannesburg, in: Healing and Change in the City of Gold. Springer, pp. 135–148.

2014 publications

Richter, M., Chersich, M.F., Vearey, J., Sartorius, B., Temmerman, M., Luchters, S., 2014. Migration status, work conditions and health utilization of female sex workers in three South African cities. Journal of immigrant and minority health 16, 7–17.

Strode, A., Richter, M., Wallace, M., Toohey, J., Technau, K., 2014. Failing the vulnerable: Three new consent norms that will undermine health research with children. Southern African Journal of HIV Medicine 15, 46–49.

Vearey, J., 2014. Healthy migration: A public health and development imperative for south (ern) Africa. SAMJ: South African Medical Journal 104, 663–664.

Venter, F., Allais, L., Richter, M., 2014. Exposure Ethics: Does HIV Pre-Exposure Prophylaxis Raise Ethical Problems for the Health Care Provider and Policy Maker? Bioethics 28, 269–274.

Venter, W.D.F., Black, A., Allais, L., Richter, M., 2014. Should HIV be a notifiable disease? Old questions with some new arguments. SAMJ: South African Medical Journal 104, 607–609.