African Child and Youth Wellbeing in the Context of Migration and Displacement

Salami, B., (PI); Yohani, S., Vallianatos, H., Okeke-Ihejirika, P., Richter, S., Fouche, C., Ani-Amponsah, M., Kwankye, S. O., Lavin, T., Mazzucato, V., Fairbrother, H., Thompson, J., Hunter, J., Abimbola, S., Sibeko, L., Nelson, L., Gomma, H., Ndikom, C., & Iwuagwu, S. (Jan 2019 to Dec 2019). African child and youth well being in the context of migration and displacement. Worldwide Universities Network Research Development Grant. 25,511 pounds

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FOCUS: The project will be a collaboration to integrate evidence on the health of migrant and displaced children in Africa and the global diaspora. It responds to two priority areas of the Worldwide Universities Network (1) Understanding Cultures; (2) Global Public Health.

RATIONALE: Internal and international migration are increasing, largely spurred by globalization and conflicts. High migration rates are reported among African communities, including children and youth (Karagueuzian & Verdier-Chouchane, 2014; United Nations, 2013). For instance, as of December 31, 2016, Nigeria had 1,955,000 internally displaced persons (IDMC, 2018). Ghana also has refugee camps to respond to the needs of those fleeing wars in neighbouring countries. While some emerging literature describes health challenges faced by African migrant children and youth in the Global North, there is a paucity of information regarding the health status of displaced children and youth in African countries, where displacement exacerbates diverse existing health challenges. Displaced children and youth experience additional challenges in the areas of nutrition, mental health, reproductive health, and access to healthcare. This project will assemble a team to synthesize knowledge and increase the evidence base on the health of migrant and displaced children and youths in Africa and the global diaspora.

ACTIVITIES: We will conduct comprehensive scoping reviews and hold a workshop and research team meeting. The reviews will be published in peer reviewed journals. Our workshop and research team meeting will be held in Alberta, Canada, and will lay the groundwork for research on African migrant and displaced child and youth health in Africa and the diaspora. We will also deliver a webinar for graduate students.

OUTCOME: Our project will provide essential information to inform the design of culturally appropriate interventions to improve the lives of displaced and migrant African children and youth.