AIM : The aim of this study was to explore and describe the experiences of health care needs of displaced women in the Osire refugee camp in Namibia. BACKGROUND : Namibia is a country where displaced people from other African countries seek refuge as a result of their own country‟s political instability. All displaced people are hosted in the Osire camp, which is a highly protected area. There are more women than men in the camp and their health is often compromised. METHODS : In a descriptive phenomenological study the natural dimension of the experiences of the participants of their health care needs were explored through in-depth interviews and reflected upon through transcendental processes to formulate the phenomenological dimension thereof. FINDINGS : The essence of displaced women´s health care needs was “the need for the restoration of hope and human dignity”. Their needs refer to measures to enhance their autonomy and freedom; skills training; certainty about their future; security with aid distribution; protection against stigmatisation due to Human Immuno-deficiency Virus (HIV) infection; protection against abuse; and participation in reproductive health care. DISCUSSION : When displaced women are admitted in a camp they lose their freedom to make decisions about everyday functioning and future. They thus develop feelings of insecurity and vulnerability. CONCLUSION : The participants referred to several factors that were detrimental for their wellbeing.
The essence of their needs was “the need for the restoration of hope and human dignity” that
could only be achieved when their needs are addressed. IMPLICATIONS FOR NURSING : As nurses are in close contact with displaced women in refugee camps
they should negotiate opportunities for the women to discuss their concerns with the camp
IMPLICATIONS FOR HEALTH AND SOCIAL DEVELOPMENT POLICY : Policies should make provision for the
involvement of displaced people in all aspects that relate to their everyday and future living