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Breaking the Barriers : Migrant and Refugee women’s experiences of health care in Victoria

WOMHEn multicultural health educator workforce, persistent in their efforts, continued Phase II of WOMHEn Project by delivering health education sessions to migrant and refugee women in 18 different community languages to address barriers to vaccine literacy and uptake, vaccine hesitancy, and service navigation of migrant and refugee women, including those who are carers, of childbearing age or pregnant, and living in rural and regional Victoria. The project culminated in providing access of health education sessions to 3287 migrant and refugee women of whom 1,631 of participants reported that they had increased their awareness of the health benefits of accessing COVID-19 vaccines after attending the session.

This report documents the addressing barriers to vaccine literacy and uptake, vaccine hesitancy, and service navigation of migrant and refugee women. It revealed that many women had accessed COVID-19 vaccinations but they felt under-confident about vaccines and hesitant to access third doses, as well as distrust of vaccines.

Structural barriers such as difficulty in accessing interpreter services; financial barriers; lack of access to information on preventative health services; lack of culturally appropriate services especially in mental health services were highlighted in the analysis of this report.

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