Understanding the healthcare issues of Afghan refugees settling in rural Victoria, Australia

Kaitlyn Kelly, Linda K. Jones


Introduction: Hazaras have experienced prolonged and repetitive marginalisation, stigmatisation, persecution and conflict as a minority ethnic group in Afghanistan for their linguistic, religious and ideological differences. As a marginalised group they are a product of generally poor socioeconomic and health status with resultant ill effects. Hazaras make up the largest group of refugees who have resettled in Victoria, particularly Shepparton. Part of the reason for this is that the region supports the largest food-based manufacturing industries in the country and so there are good work opportunities for those that do not have recognisable skills with limited English.

Aim: To explore the health care issues and challenges of Hazara located in Shepparton, Australia.

Results: The literature review identified that the Hazara community have multiple physical and psychological health needs most likely a result of the trauma and torture when in Afghanistan, plus from the often, dangerous journey to Australia and then from what is usually prolonged periods in immigration detention centres. On top of this are the challenges that occur with their resettlement including language and cultural differences and low health literacy as well as lack of understanding of health services in Australia. All creating barriers to access.

Discussion: The recommendation is to outline the rationale and process for the development of Health Hub (HHH) for the Hazara community within Community Health @ GV Health, the major community health centre in Shepparton, Victoria. Through fostering strong relationships between the Hazaras and their primary care team in consultation with the Hazara community will, therefore, ensure the outcomes are tailored to their individual needs and help improve their health outcome.

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DOI: https://doi.org/10.5430/ijh.v9n2p19


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International Journal of Healthcare  ISSN 2377-7338(Print)  ISSN 2377-7346(Online)

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