Main Article Content

Experiences of migrant mothers attending vaccination services at primary healthcare facilities

Stephan Acheampong
Mygirl P. Lowane
Lucy Fernandes


Background: Migration to South Africa is currently dominated by women and children, for socio-economic and refugee reasons or to  utilise the healthcare system for various services. Migrants and refugees are at risk of vaccine-preventable diseases, and many of their  children have an incomplete or unknown immunisation status.

Aim: This study aimed to explore the experiences of migrant mothers in utilising child immunisation services in primary healthcare  facilities.

Setting: Ten primary healthcare facilities that were providing immunisation services, located in the Buffalo City Metropolitan Municipality,  Eastern Cape province, South Africa.

Methods: A qualitative research design, making use of in-depth interviews (IDIs) from 18 purposefully selected migrant women, was  used for data collection. Thematic content analysis was used to analyse the recorded data of the experiences of study participants in their  access to immunisation services.

Results: From the IDIs, four themes were identified: difficulty in communicating with the  healthcare workers because of language barriers, access challenges, interpersonal barriers and interpersonal relationships were  identified in this study, which influenced the utilisation of immunisation services by migrant mothers.

 Conclusion: The findings of this  study support and reinforce the duty of the South African government and healthcare facilities to work together to improve migrant  women’s access to immunisation services.

Contribution: A positive relationship between healthcare workers and migrant mothers while  accessing immunisation services should contribute to reducing child mortality in South Africa and achieving Sustainable Development  Goal 3 by the year 2030.

Journal Identifiers

eISSN: 2071-9736
print ISSN: 1025-9848