Master's Culminating Experience
Introduction: The top refugee health concerns characteristically are associated with parasitic infections, infectious diseases such as malaria, tuberculosis, and parasites, as well as nutritional deficiencies such as anemia, and malnourishment. Understanding the specific health needs of the refugee population will not only improve the transition of the refugees within the United States healthcare systems, but also improve public health within the community.
Methods: Health records from Public Health - Dayton & Montgomery Country were used to obtain the prevalence of both acute and chronic health conditions within the newly resettled refugee population. There were a total of 193 refugees included in this study who received a health screening between April 2007-April 2008.
Results: Of the 193 refugees the three greatest countries of nationality were Iraq 40%, Burundi 34%, and Sudan 11%. Parasitic infection was found to be highest within the Burundi population with 27% positive for Giardia, and 27% positive for schistosoma. Fourteen percent of the total refugee population was found to be positive for latent tuberculosis, highest prevalence among Sudanese refugees. Overall, 38% of the refugee population was found to be overweight/obese according to BMI. Elevated fasting blood glucose was found in 24% of the refugee population.
Conclusion: This study provided statistical data to support a focus not only on acute infectious processes during the resettlement health screening, but also on chronic diseases such as obesity and diabetes in the refugee population. Approximately one-third of all refugees in this study were found to have an elevated BMI or fasting blood glucose.
Lyons, M. (2014). Refugee Health in Montgomery County: A Retrospective Descriptive Study of Refugee Health Screening Results from April 2007 - April 2008. Wright State University, Dayton, Ohio.