Non-communicable Diseases among Refugee Claimants in Greek Refugee Camps: Are Their Health-care Needs Met?
Peer reviewed, Journal article
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Little is known about the prevalence of non-communicable diseases (NCDs) among newly arrived refugees in Europe and whether their medical needs are met. To elucidate the prevalence of NCDs and unmet medical needs in the different migration phases, we used survey data on 267 adult asylum seekers at Greek refugee camps in 2016. Using multiple logistic regression analysis, we estimated determinants for unmet medical needs in Greece. The most prevalent reported NCDs in Greece were: back or neck pain (26.6 per cent) and severe headache (24.7 per cent). The prevalence of most NCDs in the migration phases followed a U- or J-shaped pattern: decreased during migration and increased after migration to Greece; thus, new cases of NCDs after arrival in Greece made up the vast majority of all cases. Accordingly, the refugee claimants were worse off further in the migration process. Unmet medical-care needs were reported by 41.3 per cent with one NCD after arrival in Greece. Compared with young adults, adults aged 51+ years were in increased risk of reporting unmet medical needs in Greece (odds ratio = 7.59; p = 0.015). This knowledge is important for health-care systems in receiving countries to plan for improved access to health-care services for refugees with NCDs.