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Features: February/March 2019

Fasting Holiday: Consider Medical Implications for Some Patients
March 4th - April 28th is the Ethiopian Orthodox Great Holy Lent Fast lasting 55 days culminating on Easter April 28, 2019, observed by followers of the Ethiopian Orthodox Church. Other Orthodox Christians may also be fasting during this season. Read more...

The North American Refugee Health Conference (NARHC) is the largest refugee health conference of its kind globally and it offers access to recent research and best practices in refugee health. The 2019 conference will be held in Toronto from June 14-16. Themes for this year’s conference will include the Rohingya crisis, Trauma, and Resiliency. Refugee health professionals and experts from related disciplines interested in addressing challenges for optimal care, research and advocacy for the refugee patient population and self-care for healers are encouraged to attend. For more details and registration information please visit

Measles Infographic CDC
Image source:

Measles Outbreak

A measles outbreak in Washington State has prompted a public health emergency in all counties of Washington State, where 40+ cases of measles have been confirmed (mostly unvaccinated children).  Most cases have been confined to the 2 counties, but the Washington State Department of Health recommends people to take precautions to help stop the spread of measles. 

King County's January edition of This Month in Public Health, has information about measles investigation in King County and additional headlines from local and regional communities related to the outbreak, including calls to attention and to vaccinate.

Translated Materials

Below are a few resources for for health care providers and community health workers working with refugee/immigrant populations:

Vaccine Hesitancy Resources


Recent Features: 

New ImageLive Better with Kidney Disease & Learn about Dialysis- Khmer (Cambodian)   

Increasingly, dialysis, a treatment for severe kidney disease, is of concern among Cambodian patients with diabetes. This 11-minute video slideshow presentation is narrated in English and Cambodian (Khmer) with matching subtitles and was developed by Megan Jane Melvin, DNP, ARNP, Cambodian Caseworker/Cultural Mediator Jennifer Huong, and Renal & Transplant Clinical Nurse Specialist Nancy Colobong Smith, MN, ARNP, CNN to help educate Cambodian patients and community members about dialysis. It is tailored to reflect common concerns and questions some Cambodians may have when learning about and considering dialysis. 

Khmer narrated version (click CC to view Closed Captions in Khmer):

See the above video also on YouTube, along with the English version of the video. 

Loa Loa

Map of the estimated prevalence of eye worm history in Africa
Image source: WHO

The CDC recommends refugees from Loa loa-endemic countries in Africa "should not receive presumptive ivermectin for strongyloidiasis prior to departure. Management of Strongyloides should be deferred until arrival in the United States, unless Loa loa is excluded by reviewing a daytime (10 AM to 2 PM) Giemsa-stained blood smear. Deferral of treatment for strongyloides until after the refugee arrives in the United States is acceptable. Guidance is available for management of Strongyloides following arrival in the United States in the Domestic Intestinal Parasite Screening Guidelines.”

These recommendations apply to those coming through the IOM resettlement process or asylum seekers or immigrants who choose to be screened. Unfortunately, this approach misses many immigrants and asylum seekers who do not know about routine screening and many Africans who originate in non-Loa loa infected regions and do not think to tell their clinicians they migrated through Loa loa endemic areas, living there often for months to years.

Read more - Drs. Carey Jackson and Duncan Reid describe a recent case of Loa loa in a patient originating outside of the loiasis-endemic area, including resulting questions for clinicians surrounding infection screening and treatment.

Immigration Issues and Legal Challenges:

The following talk was given by Maggie Chen, JD from the Northwest Immigrant Rights Project to practitioners at Harborview Medical Center and provides an overview of the immigration and legal challenges that NWIRP has been responding to. 



Additional Resources:
Under A Trump Proposal, Lawful Immigrants Might Shun Medical Care, NPR, May 10, 2018  


Community House Calls Program Videos

New videos highlight the work of Harborview's patient navigator program and caseworker / cultural mediator staff helping LEP patients from other cultures navigate the health care system.

See videos... 

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Tests / Procedures Radiology DSM V Codes for N-648 Communication Phrases Translated
LTBI Treatment
Welcome to EthnoMed

EthnoMed contains information about cultural beliefs, medical issues and related topics pertinent to the health care of immigrants to Seattle or the US, many of whom are refugees fleeing war-torn parts of the world.

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Extreme Winter Weather Risks

Click here for links to translated and multimedia resources related to flooding, hypothermia, power outages and the risk and prevention of accidental carbon monoxide poisoning.

Migrant Children and Health

The Migrant Children and Health Campaign has created a video featuring leaders in immigrant and refugee health advocacy introducing the facts about migrant children health and the continued history of racial and ethnic disease scaremongering in the U.S. For more information about this Campaign and to view the video "Migrant Children and Health: Borders, Boundaries, and Bigotry" click here.

Torture Resources

Resources for clinicians and advocates around issues of torture, often related to warfare and political repression.  Includes information about Northwest Health and Human Rights (NWHHR) coalition serving refugees, asylum seekers, and immigrants in Washington State.  Visit Caring for Survivors of Torture page for additional information.