- A safe and healthy future? Epidemiological studies on the health of asylum seekers and refugees in the Netherlands
- Award date
- 13 June 2014
- Number of pages
- Document type
- PhD thesis
- Faculty of Medicine (AMC-UvA)
The main aim of this thesis is to describe the distribution of diseases and conditions among asylum seekers in the Netherlands and to analyse a number of risk factors that affect their health. Based on this knowledge and the scientific literature, the thesis explores the implications for policies and practices aimed at the promotion of the health of asylum seekers and refugees.
The thesis shows that asylum seekers and refugees are at increased risk of adverse outcomes with respect to sexual and reproductive health, mental health, and specific noncommunicable diseases when compared with the general population in the Netherlands. Within these groups, there are large risk differences when stratified by gender, age, family composition, country of origin and length of stay. The risk distribution varies between diseases and conditions. The reasons for the increased risks of health problems are diverse, and include exposure to violence, limited health literacy, genetic predisposition, and conditions in the host country.
The thesis also shows that there is a serious lack of insight into the health status of and risk factors for refugees in the Netherlands. For the refugee population, as well as for the asylum-seeking population, more insight is needed into the distribution of diseases and conditions, the reasons behind these distributions, and the effectiveness of interventions.
Insight into the main risks and the effectiveness of interventions may guide policies and practices that will increase the chances of a safe and healthy future for asylum seekers and refugees.
- Research conducted at: Universiteit van Amsterdam