Jo Vearey


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Jo Vearey is an Associate Professor with the African Centre for Migration & Society, University of the Witwatersrand. She holds an Honorary Fellowship with the School of Social and Political Science at the University of Edinburgh, and a Senior Fellowship at the Centre for Peace, Development and Democracy at the University of Massachusetts, Boston. In 2015, Jo was awarded a Humanities and Social Science Wellcome Trust Investigator Award. Jo holds a MSc in the Control of Infectious Diseases (LSHTM, 2003), a PhD in Public Health (Wits, 2010), and has been rated by the National Research Foundation as a Young Researcher. In 2014 and 2015, Jo received a Friedel Sellschop Award from the University of the Witwatersrand for outstanding young researchers. She was a Marie Curie Research Fellow in 2013, at the UNESCO Chair on Social and Spatial Inclusion of Migrants, University of Venice (SSIM-IUAV), Venice, Italy.

With a commitment to social justice and the development of pro-poor policy responses, Jo’s research explores international, regional, national and local responses to migration, health, and urban vulnerabilities. Her research interests focus on urban health, public health, migration and health, the social determinants of health, HIV, informal settlements and sex work. Jo is particularly interested in knowledge production, dissemination and utilisation including the use of visual and arts-based methodologies.

Jo has a range of international collaborations, including an ESRC-NRF funded project with the University of Edinburgh, a WOTRO funded project with the VU University, Amsterdam on migration and sex work, and partnerships with the University of Massachusetts Boston and the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine‘s Faculty of Public Health and Policy and Gender, Violence and Health Unit.

CV | Publications


Posts by Author

Just Research? (Un)Seeing Politics in a Complex World

September 25, 2019 0 Comments

The third post of ‘The Disorder of Things’ blog symposium on Sophie Harman’s ‘Seeing Politics’ is by maHp/ACMS director Jo Vearey.

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Building alliances for the global governance of migration and health

September 16, 2019 0 Comments

Health governance has an important role in dealing with global migration, argue maHp/ ACMS director Jo Vearey and colleagues.

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Urban health in Africa: A critical global public health priority

March 28, 2019 0 Comments

This paper argues that a focus on urban health in Africa is urgently required in order to support progress on the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and other global and regional public health targets, including Universal Health Coverage (UHC), the new Urban Agenda, and the African Union’s Agenda 2063.

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Urban Health in Johannesburg: Migration, Exclusion and Inequality

February 19, 2019 0 Comments

In this issue, insights into how migration and mobility are mediating health within an African urban context are brought together.

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PODCAST: Vearey responds to Motsoaledi’s comment about ‘foreign nationals’ overcrowding SA’s health system

December 7, 2018 0 Comments

BBC World Service asks Associate Professor Jo Vearey to respond to Health Minister Aaron Motsoaledi’s comment about ‘foreign nationals’ overcrowding SA’s public health system.

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PODCAST: Are foreigners affecting our healthcare?

November 27, 2018 0 Comments

Associate Professor Jo Vearey of the African Centre for Migration & Society (ACMS, Wits University) discusses whether foreigners are really affecting South Africa’s public healthcare system on 702’s ‘The Best of Afternoon Drive with Joanne Joseph’. Listen to their interview below:

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Multisectoral (in)action: towards effective mainstreaming of HIV in public sector departments in South Africa

November 23, 2018 0 Comments

The authors of this paper reflect on progress made in mainstreaming HIV in non-health sector departments, exploring factors that have enabled and hindered the process.

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Securing Borders: The danger of blurring global migration governance and health security agendas in Southern Africa

September 12, 2018 0 Comments

This paper explores the potential risks associated with the blurring of global migration governance and health security agendas in Southern Africa, a region associated with high levels of population mobility, communicable, and – increasingly – non-communicable diseases.

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Migration and health: a global public health research priority

August 13, 2018 0 Comments

Drawing on discussions with policy makers, research scholars, civil society, and United Nations agencies that attended the 2nd Global Consultation on Migration and Health – held in Colombo, Sri Lanka in February 2017 – the authors emphasize the urgent need for quality research on international and domestic (in-country) migration and health to support efforts to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

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Connecting the Dots: Cultivating a Sustainable Interdisciplinary Discourse Around Migration, Urbanisation, and Health in Southern Africa

May 18, 2018 0 Comments

This chapter describes the authors’ experiences in connecting a group of emerging Southern African scholars around the inherently interdisciplinary field of migration, urbanisation and health.

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Psychosocial effects of forced migration

December 7, 2017 0 Comments

PODCAST: maHp/ ACMS Associate Professor Jo Vearey examines the effects of forced migration on people’s health and emotional well-being.

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Towards a migration-aware health system in South Africa: a strategic opportunity to address health inequity

August 24, 2017 0 Comments

This article provides an overview of the associations between migration and health in South Africa, and calls for the urgent development of ‘migration-aware’ health systems.

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Giving Birth in a Foreign Land: Exploring the Maternal Healthcare Experiences of Zimbabwean Migrant Women Living in Johannesburg, South Africa

April 21, 2017 0 Comments

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.

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Urban Health in Johannesburg: Migration, Exclusion and Inequality

March 27, 2017 0 Comments

Cities of the global south—including Johannesburg—are associated with unplanned and unmanaged urban growth; poor urban governance (which is predominantly reactive rather than proactive); migration and mobility; and the resultant pressure on access to adequate services, including water, sanitation, housing, and healthcare.

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Moeketsi Modisenyane

December 14, 2016 0 Comments

Moeketsi Modisenyane is the Director: International Health Relations and Support at the National Department of Health, South Africa.  Moeketsi is currently working with various academic institutes, civil society, regional and international organisations and partners in securing the right to health for migrants in the South Africa and the SADC regional.

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HIV, mobility and migration

December 6, 2016 0 Comments

In this research project, the role of contemporary population mobility in mediating the HIV epidemic in sub-Saharan African (SSA) is explored and recommendations for action to assist in strengthening responses to HIV – including the call for migration-aware programming – in the region will be made.

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Sex work is work

December 6, 2016 0 Comments

Sex work – the consensual sale of sex between adults – is an important livelihood activity for some migrants in South Africa. In this research area, we explore intersections between sex work, migration, health and well-being.

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Exploring The Migration Profiles of Primary Healthcare Users in South Africa

December 3, 2016 0 Comments

South Africa’s public healthcare system responses seldom engage with migration. This exploratory study investigates migration profiles and experiences of primary healthcare (PHC) users.

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Migration and sex work in South Africa: key concerns for gender and health

December 1, 2016 0 Comments

Richter, M. and Vearey, J.  (2016) Migration and sex work in South Africa:  key concerns for gender and health.  In: Gideon, J. (ed) Gender and Health Handbook. Edward Elgar Publishing: UK

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Mobility, migration and generalised HIV epidemics: a focus on sub-Saharan Africa

December 1, 2016 0 Comments

Vearey, J. (2016) Mobility, migration and generalised HIV epidemics: a focus on sub-Saharan Africa. In: Thomas, F. (ed) Handbook of Migration and Health. Edward Elgar Publishing: UK

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Understanding healthcare and population mobility in southern Africa: The case of South Africa

November 24, 2016 0 Comments

Migration provides opportunities for health and economic benefits, and has the potential to positively and negatively affect health systems. This paper outlines the authors’ current research and existing responses to migration and health in southern Africa.

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Research ethics in practice: lessons from studies exploring interpersonal violence in different contexts

November 10, 2016 0 Comments

Studies researching interpersonal violence (IPV) are associated with a range of ethical challenges. In this article, lessons are drawn from three case studies exploring the experiences of different groups of survivors and perpetrators…

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Sex work and South Africa’s health system: Addressing the needs of the underserved

November 10, 2016 0 Comments

Sex work remains illegal and highly stigmatised in South Africa, resulting in sex workers – the majority of whom are internal or cross-border migrants – experiencing ongoing human rights violations and a high HIV burden.

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Son of the Soil… Daughters of the Land

November 10, 2016 0 Comments

South Africa’s Constitution, Bill of Rights, and Freedom Charter are globally ground-breaking for providing provisions of non-discrimination, and, of particular note, on the basis of sexual orientation.

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Migration-aware HIV responses in southern Africa

July 30, 2016 0 Comments

maHp Project Manager Jo Vearey discusses what the International AIDS Conference’s call for ‘Access Equity Rights Now’ mean for migration-aware HIV responses in sub-Saharan Africa on an Ubuntu radio interview (26th July 2016).

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