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Physical health symptoms among Ethiopian returnees who were trafficked aboard

Lemma Derseh Gezie (Department of Epidemiology and Biostatistics, Institute of Public Health, College of Medicine and Health Sciences, University of Gondar, Gondar, Ethiopia)
Asmamaw Atinafu (Department of Health Systems and Policy, Institute of Public Health, College of Medicine and Health Sciences, University of Gondar, Gondar, Ethiopia)

International Journal of Migration, Health and Social Care

ISSN: 1747-9894

Article publication date: 24 May 2021

Issue publication date: 1 June 2021

55

Abstract

Purpose

There is a growing evidence of considering human trafficking as a severe form of violence which usually results in various health outcomes including symptoms of physical health problems. This study aims to examine the magnitude of physical health symptoms during the trafficking period and compare it with that of the period prior to it.

Design/methodology/approach

A total of 1,387 trafficking returnees from abroad via three trafficking corridors of Ethiopia were recruited consecutively. Among socio-demographic and other characteristics, data on various physical health symptoms that were experienced during the trafficking period and in the two years prior to trafficking were collected. The proportions of physical health symptoms experienced during the two periods were determined and compared using chi-square test.

Findings

Among all participants, 598 (46.79%) of them experienced weight loss during the trafficking period and 106 (8.28%) before the trafficking period. The extra 38.50% which was experienced during the trafficking period was statistically significant (p < 0.0001). Similar significant differences were observed for symptoms such as forgetfulness (p < 0.0001), stomachache (p = 0.0039), gynecological problems (p = 0.041), bone fracture (p < 0.0001), back pain (p < 0.0001), and wound (p < 0.0001); but not significantly different for symptoms such as skin disease (p-value = 0.1944), tooth pain (p-value =0.6587) and sight problem (p-value = 0.1306).

Originality/value

Comparing the frequencies of physical health symptoms before and during the trafficking period among victims of trafficking is relatively a new approach to measure the nexus between Human trafficking and health problems.

Keywords

Acknowledgements

The study was funded by the German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD) and University of Gondar; we acknowledge the support of these organizations. Special gratitude is offered to the staffs of Central Statistical Agency of Ethiopia especially Mr Yeshambel Workie, a senior statistician at Gondar branch, Mr Berhanu Tezera, head of Hawassa branch, and Mr Lake Endaylalu, head of Asaeta branch for their facilitation and assistance in the provision of experienced data collectors.Competing interests: The authors declare that they have no competing interests.

Citation

Gezie, L.D. and Atinafu, A. (2021), "Physical health symptoms among Ethiopian returnees who were trafficked aboard", International Journal of Migration, Health and Social Care, Vol. 17 No. 2, pp. 215-223. https://doi.org/10.1108/IJMHSC-05-2020-0051

Publisher

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Emerald Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2021, Emerald Publishing Limited

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