273714 Association of migration and climate changes on health and food access of HIV/AIDS impacted orphan/vulnerable children and their families in Ethiopia

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Mariano Kanamori, PhD , PhD. Department of Epidemiology and Biostatistics., University of Maryland College Park School of Public Health, College Park, MD
Tigist Abate, MPH , Independent Consultant, Addis Ababa, Ethiopia
Nolawi Eshetu, MSc , Salessian Mission, New Rochelle, NY
Olivia Carter-Pokras, PhD , Deaprtment of Epidemiology and Biostatistics, School of Public Health, University of Maryland College Park, College Park, MD
Introduction: Ethiopia's current challenges include the health and migration of millions of HIV/AIDS impacted orphan/vulnerable children (OVC). Many OVCs' families migrate. This study aims to understand associations between climate changes and migration on OVC families' health and food access.

Methods: In November 2011, 8 focus groups (n=149) were conducted in Amharic, Trigregna and English with professionals working with OVC, community leaders from high prevalent OVC communities and OVC's caregivers in 6 Ethiopian towns: Addis Ababa, Adigrat, Adwa, DebreZeit, Mekelle and Zeway. Semi-structured, open-ended questions collected data on societal changes, climate change and internal migration. A research panel developed coding schemes and analyzed the data using ATLAS.ti: Qualitative Software.

Results: Factors influencing migration include: proliferation of flower farms, expensive rent, governmental resettlement plans, seasonal jobs (e.g., cobblestone), shortage of farming land, unseasonable Fall rains, higher temperatures, and unemployment. Participants reported getting sick by drinking water from polluted lakes, being exposed to flower farm pesticides, and interacting with immigrants. Adigrat people perform better at work because the famine has decreased. Recent Ethiopian emigration involves illegal travel to Sudan and Arab countries. In urban Zeway, people struggling to access food don't want to use their urban land to grow vegetables, corn prices double every 2-3 months, and deforestation areas are increasing as people sell charcoal to survive.

Recommendations: OVC programs should recognize the impact of migration and climate change on OVC families' health and nutrition. Migration is a phenomenon resulting from climate change, urbanization, rapid population growth, environmental degradation, and agricultural land availability.

Learning Areas:
Diversity and culture
Environmental health sciences
Occupational health and safety
Public health or related organizational policy, standards, or other guidelines
Public health or related public policy

Learning Objectives:
Discuss the association of climate changes and migration on health and food access of HIV/AIDS impacted Ethiopian orphan/vulnerable children and their families

Keywords: Underserved Populations, International Public Health

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I have more than 20 years of public health experience at the global level and i have been the leader of this project.
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.