Health status of hostel dwellers: Part II. Infant mortality and prevalence of diabetes, hypertension and syphilis among adults

  • M.A. Ramphele
  • M Heap


The range of biomedical criteria selected to measure the health status of the residents of the urban migrant council built hostels of Langa, Nyanga and Guguletu were investigated in a single survey. A single survey method screens health status and provides the opportunity to examine the interrelationship between findings on the different health criteria. Here a high infant mortality rate is examined against a low prevalence of diabetes, hypertension and syphilis and some of the effects of migrant labour on the health status of migrant hostel dwellers are identified. The low prevalence of disease among the Cape Town hostel residents suggests that migrant labour, by sifting out the able-bodied and employable, reproduces a 'healthy worker effect' among the migrant population with access to the city. The high infant mortality rate, in contrast, suggests that the disease burden of the migrants is being carried by the home-base population.


Journal Identifiers

eISSN: 0256-95749
print ISSN: 2078-5135