Common Health Issues Of Refugees And Asylum Seekers

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Common Health issues of Refugees and Asylum Seekers Refugees and asylum seekers are forced migrants. (Wahoush EO, 2009). The United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) estimates that in 2012 there were 23,000 people on average a day forced to leave their homes and seek protection as a result of conflict or persecution, with 46% of these, children. (United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees [UNHCR], 2013). In the same year, Australia resettled 5,937 refugees. It was the third overall and second on a per capita basis and relative to national GDP (“Refugee Week”). In the process of being forced to migrate from their country of origin and resettle in a totally different country, refugees and asylum seekers face a multitude of challenges. Some will have spent many years in refugee camps or have spent time in detention Often they have had little or no healthcare access, either in their country of origin or in the country they subsequently fled to, an experience shown to have negative health outcomes (Pottie K, Janakiram P, Topp P, McCarthy A. , 2007 & Pieper HO, Clerkin P, MacFarlane A. , 2011). In these camps they may have experienced overcrowding, violence, poor nutrition and hygiene leading to infectious disease and poor medical care (NSW Refugee Health Service, 2002). If they have spent long periods in these camps, they may have developed depression, anxiety or passivity (Silove D, Steel Z, 1998). Many refugees suffer from psychological symptoms related to
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