Susan Edlibi and Nuong Truong, 4th year College of Human Medicine students, recently presented their abstract, Refugee Access to Healthcare: Syrian Refugees in MI, at the Global Health Conference Midwest in Omaha, NE; where it won the Best Abstract for the Advocacy and Health Policy category. Susan and Nuong’s trip was made possible by The Family Medicine Student Scholar Fund.
Authors: Susan Edlibi, Nuong Truong, Jeremiah Reenders, Ismael Diallo, Joginder Singh
PI: Hend Azhary, MD
Affiliation: Michigan State University College of Human Medicine
Category 5: Advocacy and Health Policy
The State of Michigan has the second largest Syrian refugee population in the U.S. The vast majority of refugees in the State resettle in Southeast Michigan. In the last year, the amount of Syrian refugees migrating to the U.S. has nearly quadrupled due to rising tensions and political oppression in the region. Today there are nearly 2,500 Syrian refugees that have settled in Michigan with a large percentage residing in Southeast Michigan. These refugees have already faced incredible odds to resettle in a new culture and country, but their challenges persist after arrival. Several studies have shown that successful resettlement involves overcoming barriers of language and isolation while at the same time preserving culture and tradition. Another essential resource for a successful transition is health care. Access to healthcare has been shown to be an important determinant in social and economic well being of a community. Recent studies have shown that refugees often face surmounting obstacles to obtaining health care. We conducted a survey of Syrian refugees in Southeast Michigan to find what barriers they encounter in accessing healthcare.