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Caring for the health of children brought into the UK from abroad

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Abstract:

Growing up is never easy. For children separated not only from their birth families but from their countries of origin, it can be a long, hard struggle to achieve even the basic levels of good health that are so often taken for granted. Mary Mather and Marko Kerac focus on the health needs of two particular groups of young people: intercountry adoptees and unaccompanied refugee and asylum-seeking children. They discuss the limitations of Department of Health Guidance and identify in some detail the range of health problems which frequently go unrecognised in intercountry adopted children. Although the same problems apply to refugee and asylum-seeking children, these already traumatised young people carry the double burden of the problems they arrive with and the problems that arise once they are in the UK. The authors provide practical suggestions towards easing this burden in the effort to make health care for this group in particular, at once ethical, humane and acceptable. They end with a plea for tolerance and sensitivity, and the need to recognise that health goes way beyond the remit of the National Health Service. The aspiration to and attainment of health is determined by education, politics, the micro-climate of attitudes and the very fabric of our society.

Keywords: ASYLUM-SEEKING CHILDREN; HEALTH; INTERCOUNTRY ADOPTEES

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: 2002-12-01

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