Special Issue "Migrant Health Burden: Emerging Challenges and Future Solutions"

Special Issue Editors

Dr. Pietro Ferrara
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
School of Hygiene and Preventive Medicine, University of Campania “Luigi Vanvitelli”, Naples, Italy
Interests: public health; global health; epidemiology; health policies
Dr. Laura Spagnoli
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
School of Hygiene and Preventive Medicine, University of Campania “Luigi Vanvitelli”, Naples, Italy
Interests: global health, public health, epidemiology, travel and migrant health medicine
Prof. Antoine Flahault
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
1. Swiss School of Public Health (SSPH+), Hirschengraben 82, 8001 Zürich, Switzerland
2. Institute of Global Health, Faculty of Medicine, University of Geneva, CH-1202, 8001 Geneva, Switzerland
Interests: global health, public health, travel and migrant health medicine, biomathematics

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

We are arranging a Special Issue on the ‘’Migrant Health Burden’’ in the International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health (IF 2.145).

Migration, constitutuing approximately 258 million international refugees and migrants worldwide (UN, International Migration Report 2017), is a social determinant of health.

Migrants face high barriers in accessing essential healthcare services due to multiple factors, ranging from difficulties in communication, irregular status, and lack of migrant-inclusive health policies to inaccessibility of services.

As a consequence of this geographic dispersion through the movement of people, growing challenges are emerging to health systems and policies that will require responses at national and international levels.

Thus, we would like to invite you to contribute to this Special Issue with qualitative or quantitative research that explores this particular topic, with the aim of promoting the discussion of challenges, opportunities, and solutions to overcome boundaries that affect the healthcare of migrants.

We look forward to hearing from you.

Dr. Pietro Ferrara
Dr. Laura Spagnoli
Prof. Antoine Flahault
Guest Editors

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All papers will be peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health is an international peer-reviewed open access semimonthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 2000 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.

Keywords

  • Migrant health
  • Minority health
  • Health disparities
  • Access to care
  • Migrant
  • Refugees
  • Social determinants of health

Published Papers (5 papers)

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Research

Open AccessArticle
Self-Perceived Health among Migrants Seen in Médecins du Monde Free Clinics in Europe: Impact of Length of Stay and Wealth of Country of Origin on Migrants’ Health
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2019, 16(24), 4878; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph16244878 - 04 Dec 2019
Abstract
Health of migrants is a widely studied topic. It has been argued that migrant health may deteriorate over time. Though migrants are a “hard to reach” population in survey data, this paper builds on a unique dataset provided by Médecins du Monde from [...] Read more.
Health of migrants is a widely studied topic. It has been argued that migrant health may deteriorate over time. Though migrants are a “hard to reach” population in survey data, this paper builds on a unique dataset provided by Médecins du Monde from five countries. We study self-perceived health (SPH) in connection with socio-economic and demographic factors and length of stay. Results differ for men and women. Compared to other documented migrants, asylum seekers have a 50–70% greater chance of having worse health. Migrants with better living conditions have a 57–78% chance of being in better health. Male migrants with a job have between a 82–116% chance of being in good health. The probability for women from poorer countries to have a better physical SPH after three months of residing in the host country is six-fold that of women from richer countries. This paper contributes widely to the knowledge of health of migrants. Contrary to other evidence, health of women migrants from poorer countries tends to improve with length of stay. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Migrant Health Burden: Emerging Challenges and Future Solutions)
Open AccessArticle
Major Depressive Syndrome (MDS) and its Association with Time of Residence among Spanish Speaking Au-Pairs Living in Germany
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2019, 16(23), 4764; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph16234764 - 28 Nov 2019
Abstract
The number of au-pairs in Germany is on the rise. In 2017, about 13,500 au-pairs were living in German families, almost half of them originating from non-European Union (EU) countries and many of them from Spanish speaking countries. Knowledge about mental health among [...] Read more.
The number of au-pairs in Germany is on the rise. In 2017, about 13,500 au-pairs were living in German families, almost half of them originating from non-European Union (EU) countries and many of them from Spanish speaking countries. Knowledge about mental health among au-pairs in Germany is limited. Therefore, the main objective of this study was to assess the prevalence of Major Depressive Syndrome (MDS) and its potential association with time of residence among Spanish speaking au-pairs living in Germany via an exploratory analysis. This study included a sample of 409 Spanish speaking au-pairs living in Germany. We classified the au-pairs into those who lived less than three weeks in Germany (newcomer au-pairs) and those who lived more than three weeks (experienced au-pairs). The participants were recruited by an online survey (Facebook and Instagram) from August 2018 to June 2019. Socio-demographic characteristics, time of residence in Germany and the level of education were assessed. MDS was assessed by the Patient Health Questionnaire depression module (PHQ-9). Poisson regression models were calculated to evaluate the association between time of residence in Germany and prevalence of MDS. Most of the participants were female (91%). Almost half of them came from Colombia (48%) and were in the age range between 22–24 years (40%). Prevalence of MDS was 8% among newcomers and 19% among experienced au-pairs (p = 0.002). Differences remained statistically significant after adjustment for potential confounders (age, level of education and time of residence in Germany) (prevalence ratio 2.25; 95% confidence interval: 1.22–4.14). In conclusion, au-pairs may develop mental symptoms during their time abroad. Future prospective studies should aim at identifying potential risk factors and preventive measures. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Migrant Health Burden: Emerging Challenges and Future Solutions)
Open AccessCommunication
Health Care Needs in School-Age Refugee Children
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2019, 16(21), 4255; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph16214255 - 01 Nov 2019
Abstract
Most European countries have systematic health assessments of refugees with a main focus on infectious diseases. The aim of this study was to describe the broader health care needs identified in newly settled refugee children in a school health setting. The study population [...] Read more.
Most European countries have systematic health assessments of refugees with a main focus on infectious diseases. The aim of this study was to describe the broader health care needs identified in newly settled refugee children in a school health setting. The study population consisted of all 609 recently settled Non-European refugee and asylum-seeking children in the age range 6–15 years who were enrolled in the schools of Malmö, Sweden during the autumn semester of 2015, of which 265 had arrived in Sweden unaccompanied. The data were collected in a structured routine intake interview by an experienced school nurse. Almost half of the children had obvious untreated caries. For the unaccompanied children, prominent mental health needs were present in almost one in three. Previously unidentified vision and/or hearing problems were identified in one in ten and around 5% had a daily medication, and 4.5% of the unaccompanied children and 1.2% of the accompanied children were judged to be in need of immediate care and were referred accordingly. Newly settled refugee children in northern Europe have considerable health care needs apart from communicable diseases. School health services have a unique platform to identify and initiate this care. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Migrant Health Burden: Emerging Challenges and Future Solutions)
Open AccessArticle
Food Security and Obesity among Mexican Agricultural Migrant Workers
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2019, 16(21), 4171; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph16214171 - 29 Oct 2019
Abstract
Mexican migrant farm workers are one of the poorest and most marginalized social groups within the country. They face the double burden of malnutrition, food insecurity, as well as harsh living and labor conditions. Objective: To examine the relationship between household food [...] Read more.
Mexican migrant farm workers are one of the poorest and most marginalized social groups within the country. They face the double burden of malnutrition, food insecurity, as well as harsh living and labor conditions. Objective: To examine the relationship between household food insecurity (HFI) and obesity in a population of migrant farm workers in highly modernized agribusiness areas of Northwest Mexico. Methods: This was a cross-sectional study with a concentric (site) (n = 146 households) and systematic selection of participants (adult men and women). Methods included questionnaires regarding socio-demographic characteristics, food security, diet (two non-consecutive 24-h recalls), and physical activity (PA). Anthropometric data included height, weight, and waist circumference. Data analysis covered descriptive statistics, multivariate linear and logistic regression. Results: Sample showed 75% prevalence of overweight and obesity, while 87% of households reported some level of HFI. Mild HFI resulted in five times more probability of farm workers’ obesity (OR = 5.18, 95% CI: 1.37–19.58). However, there was a protective effect of HFI for obesity among men (OR 0.089, 95% CI: 0.01–0.58) in a context of intense labor-related PA. Conclusion: There is a difference by gender in the relationship of HFI with obesity prevalence related perhaps to the energy expenditure of male agricultural migrant workers. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Migrant Health Burden: Emerging Challenges and Future Solutions)
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Open AccessArticle
Suicidal Ideation and Severity of Distress among Refugees Residing in Asylum Accommodations in Sweden
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2019, 16(15), 2751; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph16152751 - 01 Aug 2019
Abstract
Refugees worldwide suffer high levels of distress and are at increased risk for death by suicide. The Refugee Health Screener (RHS) was developed to screen for emotional distress among refugees and can be used to assess distress severity. This paper examines the association [...] Read more.
Refugees worldwide suffer high levels of distress and are at increased risk for death by suicide. The Refugee Health Screener (RHS) was developed to screen for emotional distress among refugees and can be used to assess distress severity. This paper examines the association between distress severity and suicidal ideation in a sample of refugees residing in asylum accommodations. Data from the RHS and item 9 on the Patient Health Questionnaire-9 (PHQ-9) was analyzed. Results showed that individuals at moderate and severe levels of distress were much more likely to exhibit suicidal ideation than individuals with low levels of distress. Even though we cannot conclude that individuals with low levels of distress do not have thoughts of ending their lives, further suicide assessment is warranted in asylum seekers with moderate to severe distress on the RHS. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Migrant Health Burden: Emerging Challenges and Future Solutions)
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