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Research Project on

Health Status Differential Among Migrants And Non-migrants In Kanchanaburi
Province, Thailand

Researchers: Dr Evi Nurvidya Arifin
Asian MetaCentre for Population and Sustainable Development Analysis

Dr Sureeporn Punpuing
Institute for Population & Social Research
Mahidol University, Thailand


The interrelationship between health and population has been one of the widely discussed themes in human history. Knowledge on how they influence each other is very important to produce policies and intervention for development. This is a two-way relationship, but historical demography and evolution of health problems are often examined separately, though they are very closed interconnected.

The relationship between health and population is often presented through the theories of demographic transition and epidemiological transition. Population and health are linked through mortality and, to some extent, fertility. Yet, there have not sufficient attention given to examine the relationship between health and population through the relationship between health and migration.

Over time, migration contributes more than just the initial number of people moving into or out from an area. Migration brings many consequences to the original and destination areas. Migration can produce benefits not only to the individuals and families who move, but also to the societies which they move to and come from. Migrants usually bring the values and culture from where they come from. Therefore, migrants and non-migrant characteristics are likely to be different. They may be different with respect to individual, household and community indicators including health status and health seeking behaviour. Migrants can bring communicable diseases with them to their destination. A clear example is AIDS. Many countries attempt to control the spread of AIDS through their immigration health policy.

Migrants may have higher morbidity because of differences in disease prevalence at the place of origin, the psychological and physical stress of moving, and the adaptation to the new environments. On the other hand, migrants may appear healthier as they tend to be younger because of factors such as selectivity in migration streams and the legal barriers against entry for those in poor health. Health can be used as criteria for allowing immigration. It can also be used as an indicator of the success of assimilation between migrants and no-migrants. If they have become assimilated, their health status becomes similar.

This proposal aims to contribute a better understanding on the complex relationship between migration and health, as a part of the much more dynamic interaction between population and health. This proposal is the first part of a longer-run research agenda on migration and health. The theoretical framework behind the proposed research on migration and health is presented to show some possible patterns of relationship between two variables. In addition, the long run and short-run research agenda on the interaction between migration and health is presented. As the beginning of a long-run research agenda, the current proposed research would firstly examine the availability, consistency, and accuracy of the data. It will also present the description of the sample, especially as related to the main variables studied in this proposal.





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