Migrant Women’s Access to Sexual and Reproductive Health Services in Malaysia: A Qualitative Study

Tharani Loganathan, Zhie X. Chan, Allard W. de Smalen and Nicola S. Pocock, (2020). Migrant Women’s Access to Sexual and Reproductive Health Services in Malaysia: A Qualitative Study. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health, 17(15), 1-18

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  • Sub-type Journal article
    Author Tharani Loganathan
    Zhie X. Chan
    Allard W. de Smalen
    Nicola S. Pocock
    Title Migrant Women’s Access to Sexual and Reproductive Health Services in Malaysia: A Qualitative Study
    Appearing in International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health
    Volume 17
    Issue No. 15
    Publication Date 2020-07-26
    Place of Publication Switzerland
    Publisher International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health
    Start page 1
    End page 18
    Language eng
    Abstract Providing sexual and reproductive health (SRH) services to migrant workers is key to fulfilling sustainable developmental goals. This study aims to explore key informants’ views on the provision of SRH services for migrant women in Malaysia, exploring the provision of SRH education, contraception, abortion, antenatal and delivery, as well as the management of gender-based violence. In-depth interviews of 44 stakeholders were conducted from July 2018 to July 2019. Data were thematically analysed. Migrant workers that fall pregnant are unable to work legally and are subject to deportation. Despite this, we found that insufficient SRH information and contraceptive access are provided, as these are seen to encourage promiscuity. Pregnancy, rather than sexually transmitted infection prevention, is a core concern among migrant women, the latter of which is not adequately addressed by private providers. Abortions are often seen as the only option for pregnant migrants. Unsafe abortions occur which are linked to financial constraints and cultural disapproval, despite surgical abortions being legal in Malaysia. Pregnant migrants often delay care-seeking, and this may explain poor obstetric outcomes. Although health facilities for gender-based violence are available, non-citizen women face additional barriers in terms of discrimination and scrutiny by authorities. Migrant women face extremely limited options for SRH services in Malaysia and these should be expanded.
    Keyword migrant workers
    Migrant health
    Sexual and Reproductive Health
    Copyright Holder Authors
    Copyright Year 2020
    Copyright type Creative commons
    DOI 10.3390/ijerph17155376
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    Created: Tue, 04 Jan 2022, 15:02:45 JST by Anne Cortez on behalf of UNU IIGH