Towards Realizing the Health-Related Millennium Development Goals for Migrants From Burma in Thailand
Ditton, Mary J
Journal of Empirical Research on Human Research Ethics 2009 September; 4(3): 37-48
ETHICAL ISSUES IN HEALTH-RELATED research on politically oppressed migrant populations differ in significant ways from community health research in other contexts. The United Nations has set goals for such research. The health-related Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) were investigated in communities ("clusters") of migrants from Burma living in villages in the Sangkhlaburi District of Thailand, adjacent to the Thai-Burma border. Hunger was experienced regularly in 70% of the households, and 26% of children under 5 years were underweight. Malaria, tuberculosis, and HIV/AIDS were prevalent. Few households took part in family planning, and there were many large families and disabled children. The health of the migrant populations was compromised by poverty, social exclusion, and under- or unemployment. Stakeholders in discussion groups concurred with the authors that tuberculosis detection and treatment and food production activities were important issues to address in developing projects to improve migrant health. This case study illustrates how the MDGs can be operationally defined.
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