Causes of migration are directly related to the socio-cultural, economic and political structure of societies. However, in the migrations made throughout human history; many situations such as earthquakes, drought, natural disasters, terrorism, unemployment, religious or ethnic discrimination have been effective. Immigration or forced immigration of a person or a community from the lands where they lived, for whatever reason; It affects migrants and the receiving society physically, socially and psychologically. It causes traumas and health problems. They have a negative impact on both migrants and hosts.
Effects of Migration On Health
Migration affects health in three dimensions: pre-migration, migration and destination. Each of these dimensions should be considered separately for both immigrant and receiving country citizens.
The health problems experienced by migrants and hosts may arise from different reasons. For example; While insufficient health institutions and health workforce in the places of immigration cause health problems for the receiving country; migrants suffer from health problems because they do not have health insurance or put their economic concerns before their health.
Migrants are exposed to many health problems both during migration and after leaving their countries. Factors such as the individual’s pre-existing health problems, age and gender can increase these negativities. However, having difficulties in adapting to the culture of the immigrated society causes more health problems.
Migrants face less adaptation problems if the new environment resembles their own culture, and more if they are not. This leads to various health problems, especially stress. In addition, communication problems encountered in the places of immigration, inability to access health services and exclusionary policies applied to migrants also increase the health problems experienced. Violence, bad weather conditions and nutrition difficulties experienced during migration also negatively affect the health of migrants.
Attitudes and behaviors towards immigrants
The increase in the immigrant population and the inclusion of immigrants in daily life also affect the views of the locals about immigrants. Negative attitude and perception of threat may occur in the society towards immigrants, especially in issues such as moral norms, cultural structure and economic burden.
In health services, inappropriate behaviors of personnel against immigrants or the practice of ethnic and cultural discrimination can negatively affect medical decisions and care behaviors while interacting with immigrant patients. Due to these negative attitudes, immigrants’ adaptation to treatment becomes difficult, their rate of benefiting from health services decreases, and their physical and mental health is negatively affected.
Migrant Women and Health Problems
The rapid increase of the immigrant population is a sociological fact. The fact that it will cause exclusion in the migrated society and that immigrants have problems in accessing health services makes the reproductive health of migrant women even more important. In normal life, women go through physiological processes such as menstrual cycle, pregnancy, birth and menopause only because of their gender. During these periods, they encounter conditions such as illness or death more frequently and need more qualified health care. For immigrants, these physiological problems can lead to more fatal consequences such as birth defects, deaths due to bleeding, serious infections.
In our other article, we will discuss these reproductive health problems experienced by refugee women broadly. Please do not hesitate to ask questions about the health of immigrants. You can also comment, what is your opinion? Do you see any migrants in need of healthcare? What do you think about your country’s migrant health policies? Your comments will guide us in writing new articles. You can send your comments via [email protected] or our social media accounts. Thank you for reading.
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