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Policymakers Must Help Nations Provide Access To NCD Care For Newly Arrived Refugees

Foreign Affairs: The Hidden Refugee Health Crisis
Jude Alawa, student at Yale University

“…[M]illions of refugees [are] suffering from chronic non-communicable diseases — maladies such as diabetes, cancer, and mental illness that cannot pass from person to person but can be devastating if left untreated. As host countries have taken in the world’s displaced, they have too often failed to consistently treat these ailments. Governments must change course: non-communicable diseases increase countries’ health care costs in the long term and prevent refugees from building productive, sustainable lives in their new communities. If policymakers do not provide reliable health care to displaced people, chronic diseases could turn the global refugee crisis into an even greater burden. … Policymakers should develop public health programs in the native languages of refugees to teach them about health services, risk factors for chronic ailments, and the consequences of leaving those conditions untreated. Because chronic diseases require long-term care, governments should also expand temporary health insurance plans and work to help refugees finance costly treatments and medications for chronic illnesses…” (11/23).

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Filling the need for trusted information on national health issues, the Kaiser Family Foundation is a nonprofit organization based in Menlo Park, California.