Women's health in United States immigrant and refugee communities
Kerstein, Megan Kathleen
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The United States is home to approximately 44.5 million immigrants and refugees, and these numbers continue to grow. To ensure a healthy immigrant and refugee population, it is important to address the unique health needs of these communities. Migrant women face many obstacles in obtaining women’s health services, including language and cultural barriers, difficulty finding childcare to attend medical appointments, and transportation difficulties. These factors are compounded by systemic difficulties in receiving health insurance coverage. Published literature describes women’s health in immigrant and refugee women living in the United States, but much of this literature either focuses on specific cultural or religious groups rather than looking at overall trends in women’s health care or does not differentiate between women’s and men’s health services in immigrant and refugee populations. Through reviewing published studies, the aim of this paper is to analyze general trends about the accessibility of women’s health services to immigrant and refugee women living in the United States. This paper will also look at specific examples of cultural and religious groups in the United States to examine the variation in women’s health preferences and issues among immigrant women of different backgrounds. Finally, this paper will explore potential ways to improve women’s health services available to immigrant and refugee women living in the United States.