Active Research

Access to Maternal Healthcare Services for Female Homeless Citizens in Western Cape, South Africa

University of Cape Town

Homelessness is a complex and multi-faceted social issue with far-reaching consequences, including the physical and emotional health of individuals affected. Unfortunately, accessing healthcare services is often challenging for homeless people worldwide, especially women, and South Africa is no exception. Although there is no accurate data on the homeless population, estimates suggest it is between 100,000 and 200,000. This number is likely to be higher due to the transient nature of this ‘hard-to-reach’ population. The growing number of homeless women has also sparked public discourse on social media platforms, specifically the lack of maternal healthcare services available to this vulnerable population group. To this end, this case study aims to investigate how homelessness affects homeless women’s’ access to maternal healthcare services in the Western Cape, South Africa.