Lauren Below, “Healthcare as a Human Right; Findings From Ecuador”
Mentor: Anne Dressel, Nursing
The UNHCR estimates that Ecuador is home to over 1 million Colombian and Venezuelan refugees. This qualitative study explores the idea of healthcare as a human right based on data collected regarding migrants and refugees in Ecuador. In 2017, the binational study team from Ecuador and UWM conducted interviews with fifty working adults in Quito, Ecuador from five different sectors: health care, the press, the police, non-governmental organizations, and education. The interviews were conducted, audiotaped, and transcribed in Spanish. Using deductive line by line qualitative analysis, key themes were identified related to healthcare as a human right. The right to healthcare means looking past race, gender, immigration status or age. Article 32 of the new constitution of Ecuador states that health is a guaranteed right by the state and includes access to services and programs for all. However, findings of this study demonstrated that there are concerns among working professionals about health care access, mental health and other problems related to the well-being of migrants in Ecuador. Migrants and refugees struggle with many health issues because of their displacement from home. Participants also noted the importance of economic, political, and social structures related to access to healthcare for refugees.