Journal of Immigrant and Minority Health

, Volume 21, Issue 1, pp 1–3 | Cite as

Refugee Health: A Moral Discussion

  • A. M. OzgumusEmail author
  • P. E. Ekmekci
Letter to the Editor

Dear Editor,

The world is currently witnessing the greatest refugee crisis of all times.1 According to the United Nations Refugee Agency, the current number of forcibly displaced people is 65.6 million worldwide, including refugees, asylum seekers, internally displaced people and stateless persons [1]. These people live in a political limbo with very limited access to resources to meet their basic needs such as housing, healthcare, sanitation, education, and employment. Among all these problems, however, health has a special status. Literature shows that refugees have a higher rate of mortality and morbidity compared to the host community in country of asylum. They are faced with a greater risk of psychological problems, and communicable and chronic diseases. Many studies show that refugees have a higher rate of morbidity and mortality because of the situation in their country of origin and also conditions in their country of asylum, such as overcrowded refugee camps, poor sanitation...



Research reported in this publication was supported by the Fogarty International Center of the National Institutes of Health under Award Number R25TW009248, KM Munir (PI), Boston Children’s Hospital, Division of Developmental Medicine & Harvard Medical School. The content is solely the responsibility of the author and does not necessarily represent the official views of the National Institutes of Health.

Author Contributions

The article basically depends on a literature. The literature review was done by the first author, Ms. Ozgumus, with the guidance of Dr. Ekmekci. Data and statistics which may be referred are gathered by Ms. Ozgumus and Dr. Ekmekci. Then, the first version was drafted by Ms. Ozgumus and reviewed by Dr. Ekmekci, so that the ideas in the article was developed further. After that the article was reviewed and finalized by both authors.

Compliance with Ethical Standards

Conflict of interest

We hereby indicate that there is no conflict of interest.

Ethical Approval

All authors have reviewed and approved the manuscript and agree with its submission to the Journal of Immigrant and Minority Health. The study does not involve any human subject. Therefore, no institutional review board approval is needed.


  1. 1.
    The UN Refugee Agency, Global Trends: forced displacement in 2016, 2017 [Internet]. UNHCR’ 2017 [cited 2017 Nov 3]
  2. 2.
    Clinton-Davis L, Fassil Y. Health and social problems of refugees. Soc Sci Med. 1992;35(4):507–13.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  3. 3.
    Asgary R, Segar N. Barriers to health care access among refugee asylum seekers. J Health Care Poor Unders. 2011;22(2):506–22.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. 4.
    Rawls J. A theory of justice. 1st ed. Cambridge(Massachusetts): Harvard University Press; 1971. 60–7; 90–95.Google Scholar
  5. 5.
    Singer P. One world: the ethics of globalization. New Haven: Yale University Press; 2002. p. 8.Google Scholar
  6. 6.
    Nagel T. The problem of global justice. Philos Public Aff. 2005;33(2):113–47.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. 7.
    Singer P, Famine. Affluence and morality. Philos Public Aff. 1972;1(3):229–43.Google Scholar
  8. 8.
    Pogge T. Relational conception of health: responsibilities for health outcomes. In: Anand S, Peter F, Sen A, editors. Public health, ethics, and equity. Oxford: Oxford University Press; 2004. pp. 135–61.Google Scholar
  9. 9.
    Sager A. The implications of migration theory for distributive justice. Global justice: theory. Pract Rhetor. 2012;5:56–70.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.The Ministryof HealthAnkaraTurkey
  2. 2.TOBB UniversityAnkaraTurkey

Personalised recommendations