The Health Problems Faced By Refugees
Refugees face many dangers and difficulties as they flee their home countries in search of safety and a better life somewhere new. Many of these risks come from external forces, like human traffickers, military forces, terrain, governments, and more. Other dangers include starvation, dehydration, and developing health issues.
Refugee health is an especially crucial area of concern due to the lack of access to medical care. Refugee health care primarily comes from nonprofit organizations and governments that provide aid in refugee camps. However, there are not enough resources and manpower to care for all refugees out there. Additionally, if a refugee is not near an area with refugee camps or medical aid, then they cannot receive the assistance they require. In this article, we’ll look at the most common health problems faced by refugees.
What Are the Most Common Refugee Health Issues?
Due to the experiences that refugees live through and the lack of medical care they have along the way, they often face health concerns that are under control in many parts of the world. Here are some of the most common health issues that refugees face:
- Preventable Illnesses and Diseases - Due to the lack of clean water, cleaning supplies, and reliable power, refugees often live in unsanitary conditions. This makes the spreading of diseases and illnesses much more likely since it’s impossible to sanitize properly. Similarly, since many refugees don’t get enough food and water each day, their bodies and immune systems are not prepared to fight off bacteria and other pathogens to remain healthy. Some of the most common illnesses and diseases refugees face include cholera, diarrhea, COVID-19, malaria, measles, and more.
- Chronic Issues - Refugees also commonly suffer from chronic issues like diabetes and hypertension. These health conditions can be exacerbated when people are displaced and any treatment they were getting is interrupted. They can also be impacted by the diets of refugees when they are traveling to other countries and living in refugee camps. Not getting enough food or the necessary nutrients each day can have a negative effect on their health. They may also be subject to a completely different diet than they are used to in the new country they settle in.
- Mental Health - Refugees also face mental health issues that stem from the experiences they’ve had and the living conditions they’ve dealt with. Many of them have lived through traumatic experiences and have been persecuted, which is why they are fleeing for their lives to another country. Refugee mental health is a serious concern, as many of these individuals can experience post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), anxiety, sadness, hopelessness, sleep issues, irritability, anger, fatigue, and depression.
- Sexual and Reproductive Health - Another important area of health is sexual health among refugees. Just like other health concerns, refugees don’t always have reliable access to the sexual and reproductive health services they require. Living in overcrowded refugee camps can also increase the risk of experiencing sexual and reproductive health issues. Some of the common assistance that refugees require is prenatal and newborn care, care for mothers, access to contraception, sexually transmitted infection prevention, HIV treatment, and more.
The Palestine Children’s Relief Fund (PCRF) continues to provide humanitarian aid to children and their families—some of whom are refugees fleeing their home countries—through our hospitals, pediatric medical programs, health initiatives, hospital infrastructure projects, orphan and refugee sponsorships, and medical missions. These efforts help to ensure that children in need get the vital assistance they require.
PCRF has a committee of volunteer pediatricians on our Medical Advisory Board who are dedicated to building up services through training, programs, and guiding PCRF to improve the quality of pediatric care in Palestine. This includes providing surgery for children who have scoliosis.
PCRF is not a political or religious organization. Our mission is to provide medical and humanitarian relief collectively and individually to Arab children throughout the Middle East, regardless of their nationality, politics, or religion. We rely on charitable giving to provide medical treatment, surgeries, safety, shelter, and support to children and their families in Palestine and the Levant. Find out how you can get involved and help make a difference in children’s lives today!