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Refugee health management: An international perspective

By Vinesh G. Oommen, Mark Brian, Michelle A. Komersee and David Stephen


In an era of uncertainty, a sudden war can bring disastrous consequences to any country where by an inflow of refugees can bring about a health crisis and social problems. Many healthcare systems in the world are neither designed nor prepared for such a calamity. It is no wonder that some say that wars are not respecters of international boundaries and occur at the least unexpected time.\ud \ud The Persian Gulf War that lasted for a year (1990-1991) between Iraq and the rest of the coalition force countries brought a huge economic burden on many countries. One of the main reasons for this was the vast amount of people that fled from Iraq due to the consequences of war to the neighbouring countries. It was estimated that about 1.5 million people fled Iraq during this war to neighbouring countries.\ud \ud The aim of this manuscript is to explain the various systems that were put in place by the World Health Organisation during the Persian Gulf War to help people integrate into the various communities and cultures of various countries where they had sought asylum. A breakdown of the various components that make up an effective system to deal with such situations will be outlined. In conclusion, the manuscript will give an example of a case study, which demonstrates that it is possible to promote the health and well being of refugees if appropriate components are used

Topics: 111700 PUBLIC HEALTH AND HEALTH SERVICES, refugee, health disaster health promotion
Year: 2008
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