Homerton Research Associate working on the creation of first ever database to document health impacts of forced migration.

Homerton College Research Associate, Dr Anna Barford, is working with Professor Andy Cliff and Heather Hooper from the Department of Geography and Professor Matthew Smallman-Raynor and Anna Fairley from the University of Nottingham to investigate the association between forced migration and infectious disease.  The team’s ambitious goal is to create the first ever database to document the health impacts of forced migration worldwide, since 1901.  The project will analyse different causes of population displacement (for example war, hazards, genocide); a range of magnitudes of displaced populations - from dozens to tens of thousands; diverse geographical locations; and the particular patterns of disease that occur.  Understanding the variety of forms that this displacement-disease nexus takes “lies at the heart of preparing for future displacements, both for the welfare of the migrants and for the health and economy of the destination” says Professor Cliff.

The research team is carefully searching through the archive held by organisations such as the UNHCR, the International Committee of the Red Cross, the United Nations Office at Geneva, and the World Health Organisation, as well as access to look at scientific journals dating back to 1901.  The team intend to look at as many cases of displacement as possible. Dr Barford said “Only then can we start to work out whether there are patterns that governments and aid agencies can learn from in preventing epidemics and delivering healthcare”.

See more at http://www.cam.ac.uk/research/features/unsafe-havens-health-risks-for-refugees#sthash.JVwRMGNS.dpuf