Health Disparities Faced by Refugees and Asylum Seekers
Background to Project
Aims and Objectives
Refugees and Asylum Seeker’s Health Care Needs: A Health Promotion Proposal Part 1
The world we live in is characterised by peace and conflicts that have often result to population movement. Those in conflict zones attempt to move to peaceful regions as refugees or asylum seekers. Under the 1951 UN convention and its 1967 protocol an asylum seeker is a person from another country entering another country to claim safe haven (Stewart, 2011). According to Davies et al. (2009) people will seek asylum for different reasons that may include running away from political and social unrest, armed conflicts, harassment or they are mistreated in their motherland. Refugees refers to a group of people who have been forced to live outside their country because they are afraid of being persecuted based on their race, nationality, political opinion, social membership, religion, and are therefore not assured of safety and protection by that country (Kirmayer et al., 2011). In Australia, asylum seekers describes any group of people who have applied for their refugee status but that status has not been determined or persons who have arrived in Australia with a temporary visa and have made an application for refugee status, this persons may include students and tourists (Stewart, 2011). Australia receives most of its refugees and asylum seekers from regions that are experiencing humanitarian crisis which includes Lebanon, Vietnam, Africa, Middle East, post-war Europe and Asia (Russell et al., 2013). As such, refugees and asylum seekers are one of the most vulnerable populations that face multiple healthcare and social needs and increasingly face health inequalities. Additionally, this vulnerable group will comprise pregnant women, unaccompanied children, raped or tortured individuals, single men and women, and people with significant mental ill health. Russell et al. (2013) postulates that most of arriving refugees are below 30 years of age, have low socioeconomic status, have varied religious backgrounds, and speak little or no English. As result these makes there health care needs complex whether they are in the wider community or under immigration detention facilities. Health Disparities Faced by Refugees and Asylum Seekers
Healthcare and social welfare needs of refugees and asylum seekers can be seen to be complex and different from other Australian communities when it comes to accessing primary healthcare. Health disparities refers to any difference in the health status, including injury, violence, disease, that are preventable in regards to opportunities available to accessing optimal healthcare services that socially disadvantaged or vulnerable population experience (CDC, 2014). According to Kirmayer et al. (2011) restriction of asylum seekers access to healthcare started with the 1990s implementation of the Australian policy of protection visa applicants and has since then increased. Though published government policies proclaim that it is fundamental to provide organised, culturally sensitive and accessible health services to refugees, there exist challenges that compromise the long-term wellbeing and health of refugees and asylum seekers. According to Russell et al. (2013) key among the greatest health challenges faced by refugees and asylum seekers is stress and depression that results from forced migration or resettlement, discrimination, mistreatment and coercion. Davies et al.(2009) explains that health challenges that refugees face both when in their country and while on transit, results from different factors such as psychological and physical torture, trauma, lack of education, food and shelter, poor sanitation, lack of clean water, and poor access to healthcare. Women refugee...
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