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How migrants who move between Zimbabwe and SA access health care in border towns

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The survey also showed that sexual violence was a reality for migrants.

An estimated 36% of single female Malawian migrants residing at a safe house in Beitbridge said they had experienced sexual violence.

In Musina, there was evidence of high levels of sexual violence and abuse among male migrants.

There was also a significant need for mental health services. Burundian migrants and asylum seekers in particular reported poor mental health indicators.

What facilities are available?

On the Zimbabwean side, there is one hospital and four government clinics: Beitbridge Hospital, and Dulivadzimu, Nottingham, Shashe and Tshikwarakwara council clinics, which offer primary health services.

These facilities are in the town of Beitbridge. The clinics are strategically located in the Beitbridge urban district. The Beitbridge district hospital caters for both local and mobile populations.

These facilities are geared towards providing services around chronic conditions. Their capabilities to provide mental health and sexual and reproductive health services are more limited. At the Dulivadzimu council clinic, Medecins Sans Frontieres supports the facility with human resources, filling in gaps for the pharmacy, and providing laboratory support.

In addition to these facilities, Medecins Sans Frontieres has set up a small mobile clinic at the Beitbridge Reception Centre, which provides primary health care to Zimbabweans who are deported and to people moving through to SA.

In the town of Musina, there are three state-run facilities: Musina Hospital, and Nancefield and Musina clinics.

Recently a quick needs assessment by Medecins Sans Frontieres in the area showed inappropriate water and sanitation facilities at the site, as well as difficulties in accessing health care in the public clinics and hospitals.

On the back of these insights Medecins Sans Frontieres established an emergency project in the so-called men’s shelter in Musina town.

The organisation also established the “Musina model of care” — a strategy which targets agricultural workers based at distant farms. The idea was to create a mobile approach with core minimum services, including antiretroviral treatment and tuberculosis treatment for those who could not access clinics.

Having achieved successful rates of treatment continuation, the activities have been handed over to the SA authorities.

What did you learn about the scale of migration in the area?

Historically, the flow of migration in Southern Africa is towards SA, as shown by the International Office for Migration’s flow trends data.

Source: TimesLIVE