Journal of Immigrant and Minority Health

, Volume 17, Issue 5, pp 1509–1517 | Cite as

Health Care Experiences and Perceived Barriers to Health Care Access: A Qualitative Study Among African Migrants in Guangzhou, Guangdong Province, China

  • Lavinia LinEmail author
  • Katherine B. Brown
  • Fan Yu
  • Jingqi Yang
  • Jason Wang
  • Joshua M. Schrock
  • Adams B. Bodomo
  • Ligang Yang
  • Bin Yang
  • Eric J. Nehl
  • Joseph D. Tucker
  • Frank Y. Wong
Original Paper


Guangzhou, one of China’s largest cities and a main trading port in South China, has attracted many African businessmen and traders migrating to the city for financial gains. Previous research has explored the cultural and economic roles of this newly emerging population; however, little is known about their health care experiences while in China. Semi-structured interviews and focus groups were used to assess health care experiences and perceived barriers to health care access among African migrants in Guangzhou, China. Overall, African migrants experienced various barriers to accessing health care and were dissatisfied with local health services. The principal barriers to care reported included affordability, legal issues, language barriers, and cultural differences. Facing multiple barriers, African migrants have limited access to care in Guangzhou. Local health settings are not accustomed to the African migrant population, suggesting that providing linguistically and culturally appropriate services may improve access to care for the migrants.


African China Health care access Health care experiences Immigrants/migrants 



The authors would like to thank the Guangzhou African community leaders, Ojukwu Emma and Sultane Barry, for organizing community events. The authors would also like to thank the African migrants in Guangzhou for their time and effort. Preparation of this article was supported in part by grants from the NIH FIC (1K01TW008200-01A3) and Emory Center for AIDS Research (P30 AI050409; Wong and Nehl).

Conflict of interest

The authors declared no potential conflicts of interest with respect to the research, authorship, and/or publication of this article.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  • Lavinia Lin
    • 1
    Email author
  • Katherine B. Brown
    • 2
  • Fan Yu
    • 1
  • Jingqi Yang
    • 1
  • Jason Wang
    • 1
  • Joshua M. Schrock
    • 1
  • Adams B. Bodomo
    • 3
  • Ligang Yang
    • 4
  • Bin Yang
    • 4
  • Eric J. Nehl
    • 1
  • Joseph D. Tucker
    • 5
  • Frank Y. Wong
    • 1
  1. 1.Emory University Rollins School of Public HealthAtlantaUSA
  2. 2.Columbia University College of Physicians and SurgeonsNew YorkUSA
  3. 3.University of ViennaViennaAustria
  4. 4.Guangdong Provincial Center for Skin Diseases and STD ControlGuangzhouChina
  5. 5.UNC Project-ChinaGuangzhouChina

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