Health Needs, Health Seeking Pathways, and Drivers of Health Seeking Behaviors of Female Garment Factory Workers in Cambodia: Findings from a Qualitative Study in Phnom Penh and Kandal Provinces

Existing information on GFWs’ barriers to health services has generally come from project implementation documents or general baseline studies of these projects, rather than independent, rigorous studies that specifically examine the health needs and health seeking behaviors of workers. Since previous studies did not include specific indicators related to workers’ health needs and health seeking behaviors, they cannot offer a complete picture of these important issues.

To fill this critical knowledge gap, in partnership with the National Institute of Public Health (NIPH), the Evidence Project/Population Council conducted a formative qualitative study under the USAID-funded WorkerHealth project to improve the understanding of health needs, health seeking pathways, and drivers of health seeking behaviors of female GFWs in Cambodia. Though the study focused broadly on health needs, the findings emphasize workers’ concerns regarding sexual and reproductive health care and FP services.

This research study offers the first illustrative mapping of the health seeking pathways of female GFWs, which provides a richer understanding of workers’ perceptions of health care quality and of the values, beliefs, and socio-economic conditions that shape decision-making on how and where to seek healthcare in communities.