Giving Birth in a Foreign Land: Exploring the Maternal Healthcare Experiences of Zimbabwean Migrant Women Living in Johannesburg, South Africa
Makandwa, T. & Vearey, J. Urban Forum (2017) 28: 75. doi:10.1007/s12132-017-9304-5 OPEN ACCESS
Maternal mortality in South Africa is unacceptably high, and interventions to address this are urgently needed. Whilst urban centres, such as Johannesburg, are home to significant numbers of non-national migrant women, little is known about their maternal healthcare experiences. In order to inform future research, an exploratory study investigating the maternal healthcare and help-seeking experiences of migrant women living in inner-city Johannesburg was undertaken.
South Africa has alarming numbers of women dying due to complications during pregnancy and childbirth. Whilst South Africa lacks verifiable means of counting maternal deaths, estimates of overall maternal mortality (MMR) for 2007/2008 have ranged from 310 or more per 100,000 live births and most of these are caused by indirect causes (Burton 2013; Silal et al. 2012). Although MMR dropped significantly to 197 per 100,000 births in 2011, primarily as a result of extensive provision of antiretroviral drugs (ARVs) to pregnant women (Dorrington et al. 2014), this remains unacceptably high for a middle-income country such as South Africa.
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