Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Schooling protects refugee children from disease, Danish study finds

Date:
February 3, 2012
Source:
University of Copenhagen
Summary:
Refugee children have scant access to medical care and are particularly vulnerable to disease. New research from Denmark show that just a few hours of schooling a week may have a pronounced positive impact on their health not only in childhood but later in life when they achieve adulthood.

Refugee children have scant access to medical care and are particularly vulnerable to disease. Fresh research results from the University of Copenhagen show that just a few hours of schooling a week may have a pronounced positive impact on their health not only in childhood but later in life when they achieve adulthood.

"There is an unambiguous link between health and schooling among refugee groups as they flee," says external Associate Professor Tania Dræbel, PhD from the Department of Public Health, University of Copenhagen, where she works as an expert in health among refugees and groups in internal exile.

Schooling protects both children and adults

"The women, who as children were refugees but also had access to school, markedly improve their chances of survival for themselves and their own children. In our study we concentrated on the risk of malaria, one of the major health burdens in war-torn Sudan: there were big differences in the attitudes to malaria in women with or without schooling. Compared to women who have never attended school, among women with schooling five times as many use mosquito nets, 2.5 times as many take anti-malaria drugs, and three times as many women who seek treatment if they suspect the disease," she continues.

The research group followed the incidence of malaria among refugees and internal exiles in Sudan from 2008. In particular they monitored pregnant women as they are especially vulnerable to a certain type of malaria which is very dangerous for mothers-to-be and their unborn babies, in order to identify the best way of offering protection to this exposed population.

A little goes a long way

"The answer turned out to be completely different to any we had expected," Tania Dræbel says. "If the women had been to school as children it made them seek out knowledge of preventive health care and disease treatment, and apply it in their everyday lives. Our results thus demonstrate that targeted efforts using very few resources can make a huge difference."

She points out that refugee children who undergo schooling are given structure and hope in lives otherwise full of chaos and fear. Schooling may enable them to see the world as a place where they can make a difference. They reflect the positive attention they receive from a teacher and discover their own resources and their part in ensuring better lives for themselves.

This moves them into an active role. It makes each of them less of a victim to the terrible experiences to which they are subjected and makes them mentally stronger later in life. So Associate Professor Dræbel emphasises the importance of schooling for children who are otherwise in the midst of a crisis as refugees.

"It is extremely important to make sure that these children receive some kind of formal schooling. Even a limited number of years, say three, four or five years over a period of ten years, has a vital impact. The children learn to take care of themselves, and they carry this into adulthood for themselves and their families. It is an upward spiral that ought to be incorporated into efforts to help refugees and internal exiles," Tania Dræbel concludes.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by University of Copenhagen. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

University of Copenhagen. "Schooling protects refugee children from disease, Danish study finds." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 3 February 2012. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/02/120203141505.htm>.
University of Copenhagen. (2012, February 3). Schooling protects refugee children from disease, Danish study finds. ScienceDaily. Retrieved October 1, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/02/120203141505.htm
University of Copenhagen. "Schooling protects refugee children from disease, Danish study finds." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/02/120203141505.htm (accessed October 1, 2014).

Share This



More Mind & Brain News

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Do Video Games Trump Brain Training For Cognitive Boosts?

Do Video Games Trump Brain Training For Cognitive Boosts?

Newsy (Sep. 29, 2014) — More and more studies are showing positive benefits to playing video games, but the jury is still out on brain training programs. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Your Spouse's Personality May Influence Your Earnings

Your Spouse's Personality May Influence Your Earnings

Newsy (Sep. 26, 2014) — Research from Washington University suggest people with conscientious spouses have greater career success. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Can A Blood Test Predict Psychosis Risk?

Can A Blood Test Predict Psychosis Risk?

Newsy (Sep. 26, 2014) — Researchers say certain markers in the blood can predict risk of psychosis later in the life. The test can aid in early treatment for the condition. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Harpist Soothes Gorillas, Orangutans With Music

Harpist Soothes Gorillas, Orangutans With Music

AP (Sep. 25, 2014) — Teri Tacheny, a harpist, has a loyal following of fans who appreciate her soothing music. Every month, gorillas, orangutans and monkeys amble down to hear her play at the Como Park Zoo in Minnesota. (Sept. 25) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
 
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:  

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories

 

Health & Medicine

Mind & Brain

Living & Well

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:  

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile iPhone Android Web
Follow Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins