Migrattion and Health Nexus: a Case of Female Porters (Kayayei) in Accra, Ghana.

Ziblim Shamsu –Deen


Migration, both voluntary and forced movement of people, especially young girls and women from the north to the southern part of Ghana, has earned the concern of government, civil society organizations and researchers. At the turn of the last decade migration of young girls and women to the commercial cities in Ghana to work as head porters popularly known as kayayei has increased several fold creating streams of problems to both the migrants and the host population. In many ways, the health implications of the migrants has been overlooked, less explored and exacerbated by lack of policies to make migration of the migrants a healthy and socially productive process. This study therefore investigated the effect of migration on the health of female head porters working in various market centres in Accra. The findings indicate that a vast majority of the respondents have no permanent place of abode and this exposed them to a range of illnesses, including malaria, skin diseases, cholera, sexually and reproductive diseases and environmentally related diseases. HIV knowledge among the respondents was very high yet little attention is given to condom use which accounted for unwanted pregnancies among the porters.  Findings further show that economic and social variables combine to reduce the health seeking behaviour of the head porters. Policy measures to enhance the wellbeing of the porters, including free subscription of the NHIS to make healthcare easily accessible to them were recommended by the study, based on the findings.

Keywords: Migration, Female, Porters, Kayayei, Health.

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ISSN (Paper)2224-5766 ISSN (Online)2225-0484

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