News / Health

Refugees, Migrants Face Health Challenges When Returning Home

Migrants fleeing Libya unrest arrive on the island of Lampedusa, Italy on May 8, 2011.
Migrants fleeing Libya unrest arrive on the island of Lampedusa, Italy on May 8, 2011.

Multimedia

Audio
Art Chimes

When migrants return home, they bring with them an accumulation of health issues from their travels and from living in what are often substandard conditions.

A key problem, according to a report prepared by the International Organization for Migration (IOM), is that migrants often can't get proper health care where they are working, so they have to deal with lingering medical problems when they rejoin their families.

"So when they return back home, they've got an occupational health issue that wasn't addressed in the country where they were working," says IOM co-author Haley West. "And now, the diagnosis has probably been delayed. So that delay in diagnosis oftentimes leads to worse health issues that could have potentially been preventable if they had been given the access in the country in which they had been working."

Not all migrants travel for economic reasons. Many are forced from home by natural disaster, war or civil unrest. People who have lived through that kind of situation often have psychological scars.

"There's been some very interesting studies done on people who have been granted refugee status and the sorts of mental health challenges they face years down the road," IOM co-author Rosilyne Borland says. "So someone returning from mass displacement, even though I'm sure are thrilled to be going home, they bring with them all sorts of challenges upon their return."

And, Borland points out, whether the mass migration was forced by a civil war or a tsunami, conditions will not be the same when the returning migrants return home.

"If the community was destroyed by the natural disaster or the war, then the health system has also been damaged, and the ability of that community to continue to keep people healthy is also challenged when they get back."

Borland and West recommend that policies be developed at all levels to consider the needs of returning migrants, and ensure they have access to health assessments so they can get the care they need when they come home.

You May Like

Sydney Hostage-taker Failed to Manipulate Social Media

Gunman forced captives to use personal Facebook, YouTube accounts to issue his demands; online community helped flag messages, urged others not to share them More

UN Seeks $8.4 Billion to Help War-Hit Syrians

Effort aimed at helping Syrians displaced within their own country and those who've fled to neighboring ones More

Who Are the Pakistani Taliban?

It's an umbrella group of militant organizations whose objective is enforcement of Sharia in Pakistan 'whether through peace or war' More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Putin: Russian Economy to Rebound in 2 Yearsi
X
December 18, 2014 5:13 PM
Russian President Vladimir Putin held his annual end-of-the-year news conference Thursday, tackling questions on the Russian economy, the crisis in Ukraine and Russian relations with the west. VOA's Jeff Custer reports.
Video

Video Putin: Russian Economy to Rebound in 2 Years

Russian President Vladimir Putin held his annual end-of-the-year news conference Thursday, tackling questions on the Russian economy, the crisis in Ukraine and Russian relations with the west. VOA's Jeff Custer reports.
Video

Video Nigerians Fleeing Boko Haram Languish in Camp Near Capital

In its five-year effort to impose Islamic law in northeastern Nigeria, the Boko Haram extremist group has killed thousands of people and forced hundreds of thousands to flee. Some of those who ran for their lives now live in squalor on the edges of the capital, Abuja. Chris Stein reports for VOA.
Video

Video Detained Turkish Journalists Follow Teachings of US-Based Preacher

The Turkish government’s jailing of critical journalists has sparked international condemnation and is being seen as an effort to undermine the followers of an ailing Turkish preacher based in the United States. VOA religion reporter Jerome Socolovsky has more.
Video

Video Will Pakistan School Shooting Galvanize Pakistan Against Extremism?

The attack on a military school in Pakistan’s northwest city of Peshawar left 141 dead, including 132 children. Strong statements of condemnation poured in from across the world. The country announced three days of mourning, and the leadership, both political and military, promised retribution. VOA's Ayesha Tanzeem looks at how likely the Pakistani government is to clamp down on all extremist groups.
Video

Video ‘Anti-Islamization’ Marches Increase Tensions In Germany

Anti-immigrant rallies in Germany have been building in recent weeks, peaking Monday night in the city of Dresden where tens of thousands of people turned out to demonstrate against what they call the ‘Islamization’ of the West. Germany has offered asylum to more Syrian refugees than any other country, and this appears to have set off the protests. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
Video

Video Aceh Rebuilt Decade After Tsunami, But Scars Remain

On December 26, 2004 there was an earthquake in the Indian Ocean so powerful it caused the Earth’s axis to wobble a few centimeters. Onshore on the island of Sumatra, the resulting tsunami was devastating. A decade later, VOA Correspondent Steve Herman reports from Banda Aceh, Indonesia, where although there is little remaining evidence of the physical devastation, the psychological scars among survivors remain.
Video

Video Refugees Living in Kenya Long for Peace in the Home Countries

Kenya is host to numerous refugees seeking safe haven from conflict. Immigrants from Somalia face challenges in their new lives in Kenya. Ahead of International Migrants Day (December 18) Lenny Ruvaga has more for VOA News from the Kenyan capital.
Video

Video Turkey's Authoritarianism Dismays Western Allies

The Turkish government has been defiant in the face of criticism at home and abroad for its raids targeting opposition media. The European Union on Monday expressed dismay after President Recep Tayyip Erdogan lashed out at Brussels for criticizing his government's action. Turkey's bid to be considered for EU membership has been on hold while critics accuse the NATO ally of increasingly authoritarian rule. Zlatica Hoke reports.

All About America

AppleAndroid