Dr. Anna Banerji interviewed by the CBC about refugee children’s health

Dr Anna Banerji in Clinic

Continuing Professional Development’s own Dr. Anna Banerji was recently interviewed by the CBC about her work with refugee children, and identified some of the biggest health issues they face.

“The big thing I see in probably fifty percent or more of the kids is dental decay,” Dr. Banerji told the CBC. “They have rotten teeth, sometimes right down to the core. They haven’t seen a dentist in long time.”

Dr. Banerji works closely with refugees through her Immigrant Health and Infectious Disease Clinic, which she established in 2007. In 2009, she created the Canadian Refugee Health Conference, which evolved to meet the needs of a greater audience, becoming the North American Refugee Health Conference in 2012.

The conference seeks to identify the best health practices for pre- and post-migration, and provides the latest research for optimal care. It is one of the largest clinical conferences on refugee health globally.

Refugee children, even upon escaping war-torn countries and reaching safety, still have many issues to face. Mbalu Iumor from the Canadian Centre for Victims of Torture was also interviewed, and provided insight into the mental health of children fleeing from war and attempting to make a new life in Canada. Schools are eager to welcome new students, and counsellors are delicately addressing mental and emotional trauma.

Dr. Banerji warned the CBC that while she hasn’t seen cases of tuberculosis, the disease is definitely a problem among families and individuals fleeing from countries in conflict.

“Every child has a significant health condition that needs to be addressed.”

Visit http://www.cbc.ca/player/play/2679580599 to hear the whole story and www.northamericanrefugeehealth.com to learn more about the North American Refugee Health Conference, taking place in June 2017.