Pachedu-Zenzele in the diaspora: promoting sexual health amongst Zimbabweans in England

Martha Chinouya, Eileen O'Keefe

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    4 Citations (Scopus)


    Migrants have been found to be at enhanced risk for the Human Immune Deficiency Virus (HIV) in comparison with settled populations. As they migrate, they often bring with them their traditions and cultural values, which may influence the ways they access or make sense of health promotion interventions in the host country. In the diaspora, should they experience compromised citizenship, marked by an unresolved immigration status, some may need to remain invisible and this may include not accessing or presenting late for vital health care interventions. Addressing the needs of such invisible populations is key to health promotion work and paramount to public health interests. This paper describes how ever-changing “traditions”, in particular the notions of Pachedu and Zenzele, were harnessed to develop ethically grounded sexual health care interventions amongst Zimbabweans in Luton, Bedfordshire, England. These interventions were delivered in mundane settings that formed some of the key everyday networks of this population. The reinvention of “tradition” for the purposes of delivering health and social care interventions has been one of the cornerstones of health promotion interventions in Africa, where the rates of HIV are some of the highest in the world. The concept of Pachedu harnessed confidentiality in the delivery of sexual health interventions with Zenzele calling for communal involvement in such initiatives. A key point that resulted in the success of this intervention was partnership work between statutory providers and the local Zimbabwean population throughout the project’s life span. Rather than being construed as passive recipients of health and social care interventions, local Zimbabweans and their statutory partners were engaged in mutual capacity building initiatives. Local Zimbabweans were also engaged and consulted throughout, from the conceptualization of the project, delivery, monitoring, and dissemination of the findings.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)71-93
    JournalInternational Migration
    Issue number5
    Publication statusPublished - 3 Nov 2008


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