Health assessments of refugees: What can the data tell us?

Author/s: Kol Wickramage, Dominik Zenner
Language: English
Publication Type: Blog post(External)

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Refugees flee a nightmare of war and persecution and dream of peace and protection. But if peace and protection come in the form of resettlement, it can be a long and arduous process for the dream to become reality. In the resettlement process, there are many agencies involved and countless details to verify, such as security details and vulnerability checks–all of which can take the best part of a year. The pre-departure phase of the resettlement process aims to prepare refugees as much as possible for their journey towards resettlement and ensure they travel to their country of destination in a safe and dignified manner.

As part of resettlement process, many refugees receive health assessments to help ensure that resettlement occurs safely and successfully from a health perspective. Data collected from these health assessments assist health authorities and other actors in countries of resettlement to appropriately prepare for and integrate refugees after they arrive. Data collected are also important in research as they add to the overall knowledge on the health of migrants and refugees, but there is room to increase this knowledge further, especially in under-researched areas such as non-communicable diseases.

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