Encyclopedia of Immigrant Health

2012 Edition
| Editors: Sana Loue, Martha Sajatovic


  • Maria-Theresa C. Okafor
Reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-1-4419-5659-0_24

Africa and Immigrant Health

Africa is both the second largest and second most populated continent in the world. Recent 2009 figures indicate that the population of the continent has surpassed one billion. Africa is comprised of 54 countries and over 1,000 spoken languages. It is rich in culture and natural resources. However, it remains one of the poorest continents in the world. This poverty is driven in part by ineffective government; despotism (dictatorship or tyranny); frequent military, tribal, political, and religious conflicts and war; as well as natural disasters. Such conditions are inextricably linked to outcomes such as malnutrition, inadequate water supply and sanitation, high prevalence rates of human immunodeficiency virus and acquired immune deficiency syndrome (HIV/AIDS), and infectious and parasitic diseases. These outcomes, in turn, negatively impact health and strain already weak health care systems. The combination of rich culture, abundant natural resources, and...

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Suggested Readings

  1. Luke, A., Cooper, R. S., Prewitt, T. E., et al. (2001). Nutritional consequences of the African diaspora. Annual Review of Nutrition, 21, 47–71.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  2. Miranda, J., Siddique, J., Belin, T. R., et al. (2005). Depression prevalence in disadvantaged young black women: African and Caribbean immigrants compared to US-born African Americans. Social Psychiatry and Psychiatric Epidemiology, 40(4), 253–258.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  3. Mitha, K., Yirsalign, M., Cherner, M., et al. (2009). Risk perception and beliefs regarding HIV infection among Ethiopian immigrants. AIDS Education and Prevention, 21(5), 484–494.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  4. Read, J. G., Emerson, M. O., & Tarlov, A. (2005). Implications of black immigrant health for U.S. racial disparities in health. Journal of Immigrant Health, 7(3), 205–211.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  5. Shaw-Taylor, Y., & Tuch, S. A. (2007). The other African Americans: Contemporary African and Caribbean immigrants in the United States. Lanham: Rowman and Littlefield.Google Scholar
  6. Summit Health Institute for Research and Education, Inc. (2005). Giving voices to the voiceless: Language barriers and health access issues of black immigrants of African descent. Washington, DC: SHIRE.Google Scholar
  7. Venters, H., & Gany, F. (2009). African immigrant health. Journal of Immigrant Minority Health, 68(7), 1365–1372.Google Scholar
  8. World Health Organization Regional Office for Africa. (2006). The health of the people: The African regional health report (pp. 1–196). Geneva: WHO.Google Scholar

Suggested Resources

  1. Global Commission on International Migration (GCIM). Retrieved May 19, 2010, from http://www.gcim.org/en/
  2. The International Organization for Migration. Retrieved May 19, 2010, from http://www.iom.int/jahia/jsp/index.jsp

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  • Maria-Theresa C. Okafor
    • 1
  1. 1.Division of Gerontology, Department of Epidemiology and Public HealthUniversity of Maryland School of MedicineBaltimoreUSA