Lesson 1 Introduction

The health problems of refugees and migrants are similar to those of the rest of the population.

However, there is a variety of health issues across the immigrant groups related to the reason for immigration.

Those who migrated for employment, family and study reasons report better health outcomes comparing to refugees who migrated to seek asylum due to political reasons, war or terrorism.

  • mobility;
  • language and cultural differences;
  • lack of familiarity with local health care services;
  • limited eligibility to publicly and privately funded health care programs.

Source: Freepik.com

Immigrants or refugees often come from communities affected by economic crisis, conflicts or war and undertake long, exhausting procedures and/or journeys that increase their risks for diseases.

Poor living conditions, suboptimal hygiene in the new country affect also immigrants’ health.

This Chapter will present the most frequent health problems among this population.

  • accidental injuries and hypothermia (mainly for the newly arrived refugees)
  • gastrointestinal illnesses and respiratory infections (mainly for the children)
  • cardiovascular events (hypertension)
  • pregnancy and delivery-related complications (for the female immigrants)
  • (non)communicable diseases (e.g. diabetes, cancer, HIV, etc.)
  • psychological, mental disorders (e.g. post-traumatic disorder, depression, etc.)