Immigration and Health USA by Adesuyi Leslie Ajayi & Abimbola T. Ajayi
Immigration and Health USA is to assist immigrants and their care givers attain optimum health during their acculturation period and long term stay in the USA with emphasis on health promotion and primary prevention that is ethnically sensitive and culturally appropriate. More
Immigration to the USA: Who is coming from where?
The United States of America is a complex country comprising the indigenous American Indians, unwilling African migrants' descendants, European colonists- the first real immigrants, and the more recent wave of global immigrants. The United States has the highest rate of immigration in the world! More people seek to enter and live within the US than all other countries of the world combined! This situation comes with both its perils and opportunities. The attraction of the US to people of other countries is an everlasting testimony to the genius of the American founding fathers whose proclamation of life, liberty, pursuit of happiness as human inalienable rights, lit an eternal fire and revolution in the human spirit. In addition to the aforesaid, the magnificent splendor of the American landscape, the range of opportunities, the breadth of its diversity and the almost unfettered potential for self actualization has made the US an irresistible magnet, and a global tapestry of cultures. The American magnet has attracted some of the most gifted minds to these shores. [The acclaimed genius, Albert Einstein, was a German immigrant, who became a US citizen]. America arguably has the best mode of government in the face of this planet, it still has the most vibrant economy, most advanced scientific - manufacturing capacity, and remains the only global military superpower. The open secret of the continued American success and dominance, from science to sports, lies in the ability to re-adapt the qualities of its population through a carefully controlled immigration policy.
Immigrants generally arrive in the United States with less disease burden compared to their corresponding US ethnic and socioeconomic counterparts - interesting... This "healthy immigrant" syndrome may represent both selections of healthy people for immigration approval, and positive health practices in the region of nativity. The immigrant can stay healthy by adopting a strategy of intelligent assimilation into the American society, while maintaining healthy practices, psycho-linguistic, cultural and family ties to their native land.
Brain drain, brain gain or brain circulation?
One major consequence of leaving the region of nativity is the loss of highly trained manpower to the host country (brain drain). This loss, affects many professional groups, but has attracted attention with the out-migration of health professionals, especially physicians and nurses. This is because of the alleged adverse impact of the out-migration on the health personnel and services from the "donor" or "source' country. The United States already employs half of all the English- speaking doctors in the world, and plans to employ 1 million more health caregivers over the next 15 years.
Education or skills acquisition will position the immigrant to be able to obtain a job, or be self-employed in a way that will provide health insurance coverage for the family breadwinner and the dependents. This is imperative, if a family member suffers from a chronic medical disease. Immigrants should make the fringe benefit of family health insurance coverage a priority criterion in accepting job offers, and should also obtain the same, even as self-employed people.
Diet is a major factor in healthy living and our health is to a large extent a reflection of what we eat and how we eat it. Diet is also geographical, varying vastly according to the region of nativity.
"Eating out" at a restaurant is a commonplace American lifestyle and a stark symbol of acculturation to the Western mode of existence. America has diverse and delicious cuisine that has a gustatory appeal to many diners. An extreme view of the situation is that in some families, home cooked food is no longer available or the skills to prepare it, is perhaps extinct.
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