ERIC Number: ED327610
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1990-May
Ensuring the Health of Refugees: Taking a Broader Vision.
Kuntz, Diane; And Others
Refugee assistance policies and programs should be reoriented to ensure both short- and long-term physical, social, and mental well-being. This approach must fully encompass primary health care and embrace a wide range of activities and programs that are not traditionally viewed as health-related. The refugee assistance community is sometimes unable to meet even basic human needs during emergencies. Failure to implement effective assistance programs can impede the improvement of refugee health and, in some cases, contribute to its deterioration. While some technical problems continue to frustrate efforts to provide effective health services, the major problems are programmatic and institutional. A persistent failing is the inability to establish long-term programs and to involve refugees in the planning and implementation of programs. The following recommendations are made: (1) give priority to interventions that address basic needs; (2) give health personnel a greater role in monitoring, advocacy, and protection activities; (3) change the way nongovernmental organizations hire, orient, and support health personnel in the field; (4) place greater emphasis on training refugees as community health workers; (5) involve refugees in all phases of assistance activities; (6) give priority funding to activities that promote good health and prevent illness over those that cure the sick; and (7) provide effective coordination that encourages greater management by local health ministries. (FMW)
Publication Type: Opinion Papers
Education Level: N/A
Sponsor: Pew Charitable Trusts, Philadelphia, PA.
Authoring Institution: Refugee Policy Group, Washington, DC.