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Feature: January/February 2018


Winter Weather Risks

Public Health - Seattle & King County provides translated  resources related to events of concern that may occur more often during winter months such as flooding, hypothermia, power outages and the risk and prevention of accidental carbon monoxide poisoning. Materials are typically available in Chinese, English, Korean, Russian, Somali, Spanish, Vietnamese with some information available in additional languages.  

Prevent Carbon Monoxide Poisoning fact sheets are available in 24 languages. Power outages can lead to especially dangerous situations when people bring generators and/or barbecues into their homes for heat and food preparation.  A number of people have died from carbon monoxide poisoning as a result.  This has affected some of the immigrant communities hardest. Click here to read about a 2006 carbon monoxide epidemic among immigrant populations in King County, Washington, including recommendations for educational campaigns to prevent CO poisoning.

Recent Features


National Diabetes Month 2017 

Each November communities across the country observe National Diabetes Month to bring attention to diabetes and its impact on millions of Americans. 

Evidence shows that the risk for development of diabetes and associated complications among immigrants increases in the years after arrival to the United States. 

Find information on EthnoMed about diabetes (Clinical Topics and Patient Education) and other external resources of education materials in multiple languages: National Library of Medicine's HealthReach and Medlineplus websites.    

For more information about National Diabetes Month including ways organizations and health care professionals can get involved, visit National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases

Healthcare Advocacy

Making a Case for Sanctuary Hospitals
Saadi A, Ahmed S, Katz MH. Making a Case for Sanctuary Hospitals. JAMA. Published online October 16, 2017. doi:10.1001/jama.2017.15714

Advocates that health care professionals support and advocate for health care facilities to be sanctuary places that protect the undocumented and vulnerable.

Care for Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) Community
In the midst of the harsh political climate EthnoMed is reminded we are part of a larger educational and health system that supports and cares for all people.  Our Harborview Medical Center mission statement includes priority care to persons who are non-English speaking poor, persons who are uninsured or underinsured, and many other vulnerable populations.  The words of the University of Washington President Ana Mari Cauce provide us with a reminder that the work is important and a call to action: 

"...Ending DACA diminishes us all. It breaks the promise our country made to these students when we urged them to enroll in the program, to be proud and unafraid. We join with leaders in higher education, industry, government, religious institutions and humanitarian agencies across the nation in calling for congressional action to restore the program quickly.

Discontinuing the program doesn’t just threaten the security and futures of Dreamers. It also threatens to erode our nation as a democracy that has embraced the diverse talents and contributions of generations of immigrants, including our country’s founders."  Read the entire letter 

Northwest Immigrant Rights Project (NWIRP) has issued a Community Advisory for DACA recipients and their loved ones in the wake of the Trump Administration’s announcement that the DACA program is being terminated. In addition to publishing this advisory, NWIRP is hosting several free community forums for DACA recipients, their families, and other social service providers to discuss what options are available to them in light of this news. The forums are opportunities to ask questions, share the latest information, talk to an immigration attorney, and learn about other resources for DACA recipients and their families.   

Community Health Board Presentations

Seattle - King County has seen the emerging development of local refugee community health boards. The following are examples of local health education efforts led by two such boards: 

A 1-hour video of a presentation about measles and a measles outbreak in Somali community in Minnesota.  With discussion and education about the concern in Somali communities of a perceived link between MMR vaccine and autism. Presented at the Somali Health Board meeting, May 18, 2017. Presenters: Anisa Ibrahim, MD; Asli Ashkir, RN, PHN; Ahmed Ali, PharmD. Shared with permission from the Somali Health Board. Also view video on Somali Health Board's Facebook page. See also: Public Health - Seattle & King County health advisory Measles Outbreak Among Somali Community in Minnesota with Links to Seattle

This 42-minute video slideshow presents community education in Arabic, with summary of talking points in English, about the importance of mental health and about common mental conditions among Iraqi refugees such as anxiety, depression, panic disorders and PTSD. Presented June 2016 by Dr. Zainab Al-Tameemi, M.B.Ch.B, MPH/Social and Behavioral Sciences, University of Washington. Shared with permission from the Iraqi Health Board.

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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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Refugee Health Weekly Roundup

This summary is compiled by the Washington State Department of Health Refugee Health Program. The Weekly Roundup highlights upcoming events and opportunities, resources and news relevant to refugee health. Some information is local to WA, but also what's on the national agenda. Read the latest edition of the Refugee Health Roundup.

Health Advisory

Public Health - Seattle & King County released a health advisory on April 29, 2017: Measles Outbreak Among Somali Community in Minnesota with Links to Seattle. Read the advisory.

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.