Mobility and Health: Young People’s Health-Seeking Behaviour and Physical Access to Health Services

  • Gina Porter
  • Kate Hampshire
  • Albert Abane
  • Alister Munthali
  • Elsbeth Robson
  • Mac Mashiri
Part of the Anthropology, Change, and Development book series (ACD)


This chapter focuses on young people’s access and travel to health services (for personal consultation and treatment) in rural and urban locations, situating the discussion, where feasible, with reference to the wider therapeutic landscapes (material, symbolic and virtual) within which these health-care practices and experiences are played out. Unlike the regular daily movements which characterise young people’s mobility for education and work purposes, health-seeking is usually a less frequent motivation for travel, but the felt everyday experiences of health-seeking are complex and challenging. The chapter demonstrates how widespread poverty and the state’s limited ability to provide adequate, effective health care are key contextual elements within which young people and/or their carers make decisions regarding whether, when and where to seek health advice and treatment. Gender and age factors also come into play. The narratives presented demonstrate the disturbing fragility of entanglements between physical movement, representation and practice.


Young People Traditional Healer Rural Site National Health Insurance Scheme Government Health Facility 
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Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  • Gina Porter
    • 1
  • Kate Hampshire
    • 1
  • Albert Abane
    • 2
  • Alister Munthali
    • 3
  • Elsbeth Robson
    • 4
  • Mac Mashiri
    • 5
  1. 1.Department of AnthropologyDurham UniversityDurhamUK
  2. 2.Department of Geography and Regional PlanningUniversity of Cape CoastCape CoastGhana
  3. 3.Centre for Social ResearchUniversity of MalawiZombaMalawi
  4. 4.Department of Geography, Environment and Earth ScienceUniversity of HullHullUK
  5. 5.Gwarajena Transport Research & DevelopmentPretoriaSouth Africa

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