New study: Refugee children arrive with many health issues, diseases
Posted by Ann Corcoran on November 28, 2015
For all of you in the medical field and who are also concerned about refugees, more information is available.
This is from US News. Maybe we should be suspending the refugee program for the health risks it poses that might in the end be greater than the terrorism risks!
Almost the last line was the shocking part. The article suggests that health screening should be done before the refugee enters the country. I thought that is what was ALREADY happening!
The news is from a new report published Nov. 12 in the American Journal of Public Health. I didn’t search for the full report, but you should. Remember we (taxpayers) are paying for their medical treatment! Emphasis below is mine.
FRIDAY, Nov. 27, 2015 (HealthDay News) — The main health problems of refugee children from Asia and Africa when they arrive in the United States are outlined in a new study.
Based on screenings of more than 8,100 young refugees between 2006 and 2012, the top health concerns were hepatitis B, tuberculosis, parasitic worms, high blood lead levels and anemia, the study found.
The refugees, all younger than 19, were from Bhutan, Myanmar, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Ethiopia, Iraq and Somalia. The screenings were conducted shortly after they arrived in Colorado, Minnesota, Pennsylvania and Washington state.
In general, these conditions were more common among children from the [African countries—ed] Democratic Republic of the Congo, Ethiopia and Somalia, and lower among those from Iraq, researchers said. [Although we haven’t talked about it because Middle Eastern refugees are making the news, Obama’s 2016 plan calls for our African numbers to increase by 7,000 this year.—ed]
Among refugees from Myanmar [aka Burma—ed], those who came to the United States from Thailand had more diseases than those who came by way of Malaysia, the researchers found.
“Understanding the health profiles of children from different countries allows us to provide better counseling for parents, prioritize specific tests and ensure that we give children a healthy start here in the U.S.,” study lead author Dr. Katherine Yun, a pediatrician in the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia’s PolicyLab and Refugee Health Program, said in a hospital news release.
The findings may have a number of implications.
“Our data suggest that the existing [U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention] medical screening guidelines remain relevant and hold great value,” Yun said.
“We also recommend that multistate public health collaborations monitor the health of newly arrived refugee children, along with resources available to them,” she added. [Refugees move, sometimes shortly after arrival and this would imply those diagnosed, with say TB etc., may not be tracked.—ed]
Health officials should analyze these data in a timely manner, because refugee populations change significantly over time, she said.
Also, it may be more cost-effective to conduct health screenings of refugees before they leave their countries, Yun said.
Asylum seekers NOT screened upon arrival!
I did spend a few minutes visiting the CDC website and came across this (below). Remember I told you here the other day that we now have tens of thousands of asylum seekers coming across our borders illegally or overstaying a visa and we grant asylum to about 25,000 a year (they are given all the rights of refugees we fly in once granted asylum).
The legal process can take a year or more, so asylum seekers are in your communities and unscreened for serious medical issues for months and possibly years.
From the Centers for Disease Control on Asylees:
Asylees are persons who meet the definition of a refugee but are already in the United States or are seeking admission at a US port of entry. From 2000 to 2010, the top ten countries of origin for people granted asylum in the United States were China, Colombia, Haiti, India, Ethiopia, Iraq, Armenia, Albania, Iran, and Somalia. Those who are living in the United States or are seeking admission at a US port of entry when they apply for asylum are recommended to have a domestic medical exam once they have been granted asylum status. When an asylee applies for adjustment of status, an I-693 medical examination (including vaccinations) by a civil surgeon is required. Once an asylee has been granted asylum status, their family members may follow to join them in the US, and therefore these family members would undergo the required medical examination overseas, prior to immigration.
Currently, there are very little data available about the health problems of asylees after they migrate to the United States. Many asylum seekers originate in, or transfer through, countries with public health issues similar to those facing refugees arriving through the US Refugee Admissions Program. Therefore we recommend that medical providers screening asylees apply the same screening and treatment recommendations in the CDC Refugee Domestic Guidelines when performing a medical evaluation of an asylee. For individuals who have been in the United States for more than one year, special attention should be paid to diseases with long latency and associated severe morbidity such as tuberculosis, hepatitis B, and Strongyloides infection.
See also our previous 288 posts in our ‘health issues’ category. A lot of information is archived there on the mental and physical health problems refugees bring to America. Gee, isn’t it grand that we have Obamacare!
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