Health Status and Disease Burden of Unaccompanied Asylum Seeking Adolescents at a Single Centre in Bielefeld
Unaccompanied asylum seeking adolescents (UAAs) are regarded as more vulnerable than other refugees, arriving on their own without family in a sensitive age class. Good medical care is necessary to help them to better integrate into the receiving society. In a cross-sectional study, 256 UAAs (77% male; mean age 16 years) were examined shortly after arrival in Germany. Standardised check-ups were performed in a private travel clinic between 2011 and 2015. A subset of these (201 UAAs) were seen again up to 50 months after their first visit at the same outpatient clinic. Descriptive and bivariable analyses were performed. The general health status of most UAAs was good. Infections were one of the major disease burdens (51%) with the highest burden in UAAs coming from sub-Saharan Africa (79%). Helicobacter pylori was the most prevalent infection (48%) followed by schistosomiasis antibody infection (16%). 30% reported psychological symptoms, resulting in referral to a psychiatrist or psychologist in 15% of the whole study population. The most prevalent problems after first medical check-up were acute infections of the respiratory tract and mental and behavioural disorders. Medical care for UAAs needs inter-, multi- and transcultural sensibility and a profound knowledge of the epidemiology and clinical symptoms of UAAs from different regions of the world.
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