In recent years, there has been a substantial increase in refugee and asylum-seeking adults, adolescents and children to high-income countries. Infectious diseases remain the most frequently identified medical diagnosis among U.S.-bound refugee children. Medical screening and immunization are key strategies to reduce the risk of infectious diseases in refugee, internationally adopted, and immigrant children. Notable infectious diseases affecting refugee and other newly arriving migrants include latent or active tuberculosis, human immunodeficiency virus type 1 (HIV), hepatitis B, hepatitis C, vaccine-preventable diseases, malaria, and other parasitic infections. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the American Academy of Pediatrics have published guidelines for health assessment of newly arriving immigrant, refugee, and internationally adopted children. Although, data on the health risks and needs of refugee exists in some high-income countries, there is an urgent need to develop robust evidence-informed guidance on screening for infectious diseases and vaccination strategies on a broader scale to inform national policies. Innovative approaches to reach migrant communities in the host nations, address health and other complex barriers to improve access to high-quality integrated health services, and strong advocacy to mobilize resources to improve health, safety, and wellbeing for refugee children and their families are urgent priorities.
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