A possie in Aussie

August 31, 2009

Refugees and disease – is it a beat up?

Filed under: African,race relations,racism,refugee — Nayano @ 12:00 pm
Tags: , ,

Refugee Resettlement Watch, a US blog that in general takes a dim view of refugees, just posted a report about recent research in Australia.

The report studied 239 patients who attended the specialist paediatric refugee clinic at the  Children’s Hospital, Westmead, between May 2005 and December 2006. High percentage of refugees entering Australia are sick

Refugee Resettlement Watch slants the report to ‘communicable diseases’, arousing the common fears that migrants (especially those from less wealthy nations) bring disease.

The post notes that the study ‘found a high prevalence of asymptomatic TB, schistosomiasis, malaria and hepatitis B’.

 ‘Of those tested, 16% had Schistosomiasis, 5% had malaria and 4% were hepatitis B carriers. Of 216 children who had Mantoux tests, 33% were ≥10 mm and 24% were ≥15 mm, including four children with active disease (2 lymphadenitis, 1 pulmonary and 1 gastric). Vitamin D deficiency was the most common diagnosis: 61% had serum 25(OH)D3 <50 nmol/L. Anaemia was present in 15%’. The epidemiology of health conditions of newly arrived refugee children: A review of patients attending a specialist health clinic in Sydney

I am not medically trained, but I reckon that, among these diseases the only ‘communicable’ ones are hepatitis B and TB – the others are insect or parasite borne, or diseases of malnutrition.  

Expect anti-refugee beat-ups as this research becomes more widely known. A stab in the dark


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