Display Settings:

Format

Send to:

Choose Destination
See comment in PubMed Commons below
PLoS One. 2012;7(5):e38194. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0038194. Epub 2012 May 31.

Post-arrival health screening in Karen refugees in Australia.

Author information

  • 1Royal Children's Hospital, Murdoch Childrens Research Institute, Melbourne, Victoria, Australia. Georgia.paxton@rch.org.au

Abstract

OBJECTIVE:

To document the prevalence of nutritional deficiencies, infectious diseases and susceptibility to vaccine preventable diseases in Karen refugees in Australia.

DESIGN:

Retrospective audit of pathology results.

SETTING:

Community based cohort in Melbourne over the period July 2006-October 2009.

PARTICIPANTS:

1136 Karen refugee children and adults, representing almost complete local area settlement and 48% of total Victorian Karen humanitarian intake for the time period.

MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES:

Prevalence of positive test results for refugee health screening, with breakdown by age group (<6 years, 6-11 years, 12-17 years, 18 years and older).

RESULTS:

Overall prevalence figures were: anaemia 9.2%, microcytosis 19.1%, iron deficiency 13.1%, low vitamin B(12) 1.5%, low folate 1.5%, abnormal thyroid function tests 4.4%, vitamin D<50 nmol/L 33.3%, hypocalcaemia 7.4%, raised alkaline phosphatase 5.2%, abnormal liver transaminases 16.1%, hepatitis B surface antigen positive 9.7%, hepatitis B surface antibody positive 49.5%, isolated hepatitis B core antibody positive 9.0%, hepatitis C positive 1.9%, eosinophilia 14.4%, Schistosoma infection 7%, Strongyloides infection 20.8%, malaria 0.2%, faecal parasites 43.4%. Quantiferon-gold screening was positive in 20.9%. No cases of syphilis or HIV were identified. Serological immunity to vaccine preventable diseases was 87.1% for measles, 95% for mumps and 66.4% for rubella; 56.9% of those tested had seroimmunity to all three.

CONCLUSIONS:

Karen refugees have high rates of nutritional deficiencies and infectious diseases and may be susceptible to vaccine preventable diseases. These data support the need for post-arrival health screening and accessible, funded catch-up immunisation.

PMID:
22693599
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
PMCID:
PMC3364970
Free PMC Article
PubMed Commons home

PubMed Commons

0 comments
How to join PubMed Commons

    Supplemental Content

    Icon for Public Library of Science Icon for PubMed Central
    Loading ...
    Write to the Help Desk