South Africa, burdened by a wide wealth gap, meets the healthcare needs of the minority with health insurance but provides unreliable services for the uninsured. The uninsured clients suffer from long public clinic wait times and poor-quality care. The Unjani model was launched to provide high-quality affordable primary health care (PHC) to employed but uninsured families. Unjani aims to empower black women nurses as entrepreneurs and providers by providing them with shipping containers converted into world-class health clinics. Although nurses are central to the Unjani model, there is no published research describing their experience. I performed a qualitative study to identify the role of the nurse as PHC provider as well as facilitators and barriers to participating in the Unjani model. I conducted semi-structured interviews with ten Unjani nurses. I used thematic analysis to identify five themes. My results suggest that the Unjani nurses are invested, motivated, and proud to serve their community with a profit-generating high-quality PHC business. Furthermore, the Unjani model may be a powerful answer to global challenges in primary care access and quality.

Publication Date

Spring 4-6-2020

Journal Title

Inquiry Journal


Gene Harkless, Lynda Toussaint


Durham, NH: Hamel Center for Undergraduate Research, University of New Hampshire

Document Type