The Common Physical Health Problems Of Refugees

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Refugee Health

Refugees originate from various countries and are a vulnerable population in Australia, due to multiple and complex physical and psychological health problems. Through the humanitarian program around 13000 to 14000 refugees arrive in Australia each year (Kay, Jackson, & Nicholson, 2010). A refugee is defined as an individual who “owing to a well-founded fear of being persecuted for reasons of race, religion, nationality, membership of a particular social group or political opinion is outside of the country of his nationality and is unable or owing to such fear is unwilling to avail himself of the protection of that country” (1951 United Nations Convention as cited in Harris & Zwar, 2005, pp. 825). This essay will discuss the common physical health problems of refugees, the frequent psychological health issues affecting refugees in Australia, the role of nurses in refugee health and the role of nurses in the refugee health nurse program. Refugees in Australia face multiple and complex physical health issues. The physical problems are a result of inadequate or interrupted access to health care, poverty as a consequence of conflict and disturbance and the different patterns of infectious diseases in their country of origin. The most prevalent physical issue that refugees arriving in Australia are diagnosed with is vitamin D deficiency. Vitamin D deficiency can be caused by nutritional deficiencies and reduced absorption due to darker skin pigmentation or
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