In her address, Mrs Fong Weng-Poorun pointed out that this study will enable the Government to put in place appropriate strategies to address the specific problems of Rodriguans in Mauritius, especially those who come to Mauritius to find jobs. She also pointed out the various measures for a better quality of life as announced by the Prime Minister, Dr Navin Ramgoolam, during his recent visit to Rodrigues.
The Workshop is organised by the International Organisation for Migration (IOM). The project started in February 2012 and a total of 4 workshops were organised whereby different stakeholders, of which the Rodrigues Division under the Prime Minister’s Office, participated actively in the discussions regarding the actual implementation of this study.
A Respondent Driven Sampling (RDS) was chosen as being the most appropriate methodology to conduct this study because of the lack of data on Rodriguans in Mauritius. This method allowed to reach out to groups, often marginalised and not well-known, for which no sampling frame exists.
The International Organisation for Migration (IOM) has been involved in activities related to Migration & Health for the past 60 years. In the Southern African region, the programme Partnership on Health and Mobility in East and Southern Africa (PHAMESA) funded by the Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency (SIDA) aims at improving the management of migration health and reducing migrants’ vulnerability to ill health by responding to their health needs throughout all phases of the migration process.
As a sequential action to PHAMESA, IOM Mauritius received funding to carry out an Assessment of Health and Socio-Economic Vulnerabilities of Rodriguans in Mauritius. This initial study proposed to collect information on the socio-economic characteristics, and health of Rodriguans in Mauritius. It also sought to gather evidence on the knowledge, attitude, behaviour and sexual practices amongst Rodriguans in Mauritius. The main objectives of this study were:
• To assess the socio-economic conditions of Rodriguans in Mauritius and access to health services;
• To examine Rodriguans’ HIV/AIDS and ST1 knowledge and attitudes and practices;
• Identify the most vulnerable zones where Rodriguans have migrated to; and
• Develop initial policy recommendations and interventions to address the issue of the socio-economic and health vulnerabilities of Rodriguans in Mauritius.
The IOM is commencing a new project very shortly to follow up on the current one. Under the new project known as integrating the Integration Process of Rodriguans migrating to the Island of Mauritius and Foreign Migrant Workers in Mauritius, there will be a number of actions building on the study phase.