Dr Shemana Cassim
Improving health equity for migrant communities is increasingly becoming a global priority. In Aotearoa New Zealand (NZ), following the recent Christchurch mosque shootings in March 2019, issues of equity for Muslim migrant communities have come into sharp focus. Primary healthcare is an amenity that is essential to equitable health outcomes for Muslim migrants. However, there is a gap in research exploring how Muslim migrant women access primary healthcare services in NZ. The objective of this project is to explore the experiences of Muslim migrant women in accessing primary healthcare. We aim to investigate how their navigation of a predominantly ‘Westernised’ primary healthcare system can affect the wellbeing of these Muslim migrant women, and to explore the broader implications of the barriers or enablers they may encounter.
This research will be a starting point to filling an existing gap in NZ research and knowledge on Muslim migrant women’s experiences of accessing primary healthcare. The findings of this research can inform better (culturally responsive) practice and can also lead to increased accessibility of primary healthcare for Muslim migrant women, thereby leading to early diagnosis and better treatment outcomes in the primary healthcare space. Moreover, improving access to primary healthcare services for Muslim migrant women can have a much wider bearing beyond the direct impact for the women themselves, for instance, in relation to pregnancies, child health and men’s health. Overall, the findings of this project will have a significant impact in the Waikato as well as at a national level, by contributing to a gap in research and knowledge.