Accessing adolescent sexual and reproductive health services among undocumented migrants in South Africa
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Adolescent sexual and reproductive health access continues to dominate the development agenda since the historic 1994 Cairo Conference and becomes a huge public health concern for the increasing diverse of undocumented adolescents who have become an important component as irregular migration patterns and profiles shifts in South Africa. The inherent nature of irregular migration poses exposure and vulnerabilities making access to sexual and reproductive health services(SRH) imperative. Findings from this study revealed that access to SRH services among undocumented adolescents migrants is poor attributed to diverse structural, socio-cultural and financial barriers. For SouthAfrica, conflicting health and migration policies leads to inconsistencies in service provision making it difficult for both adolescents and health service providers to strike a balance between migration and health considerations. Migration remains politically sensitive with punitive measures for those in undocumented state who are subsequently marginalized and excluded from accessing all social services, health included.Health policies on the other hand are non discriminatory, employing an all inclusive approach to all adolescents irrespective of migration status. While the study demonstrated that adolescent SRH services among undocumented adolescent in South Africa may be poor, such findings are however inconclusive to suggest that SRH outcomes are also poor.for this particular group. Access is further compromised by the fact that this group is often young, geographically clustered in certain areas and the need to stay in South Africa for considerably longer periods of time. However, possible source of care for this group is within government public health agencies as access to private sources of care is poor owing to actual or perceived costs.Owing to this factor, access to government run health agencies becomes a central issue to explore in this study.
- Ministry of Health