Author(s): Mlangeni, N., Adetokunboh, O., Lembani, M., Malotle, M., Ngah, V., Nyasulu, P.S.

Source: Trop Med Int Health. 2023;1–10.


Objectives: To summarise data on human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) services available to farmworkers in sub-Saharan Africa (SSA).

Methods: We conducted a systematic review to understand which HIV prevention and care services were accessed by farm workers in SSA. MEDLINE (PubMed), Embase, CINAHL (EBSCO Host), Cochrane library, African Index Medicus, Scopus, Google Scholar, Open Grey, and Web of Science Proceedings Citation Index were searched. Studies were eligible for inclusion if they measured or reported on the presence of HIV workplace policy frameworks, guidelines, or programmes for HIV prevention, treatment and care services, and other treatment modalities specifically targeting farmworkers.

Results: Nine studies published between 2005 and 2019 were included in the review. Six themes emerged from included studies, which include HIV policy, HIV prevention (awareness, education, and condom supply), voluntary counselling and testing, antiretroviral therapy (ART), linkage to care, and mobile clinic. Though availability of an HIV policy was inadequate, a significant positive impact of the HIV policy in influencing behaviour change was reported. Most of the farm workers could access HIV education and condom supply in their places of work. Access to ART, treatment support, and linkage to care was inadequate, but community outreach programmes and mobile clinics showed success in reaching a high number of workers with HIV testing and treatment. A majority of farm workers faced barriers in accessing government health facilities.

Conclusions: The findings suggest that there is poor access to HIV services for farmworkers in SSA. There is a dire need to scale up HIV services and programmes, including mobile health facilities, in agricultural settings. Due to high labour migration patterns among farmworkers, we recommend cross-country HIV programmes that allow continuity of care across borders

Keywords: Access to care, Farmworkers, HIV, Migrant labourers, Migrants health, Rural health