Online Program

Improving the quality of life of Somali refugees through the East African Health Coalition

Monday, November 4, 2013 : 10:30 a.m. - 10:45 a.m.

Cristina Redko, PhD, Center for Global Health, Department of Community Health, Wright State University Boonshoft School of Medicine, Kettering, OH
Nikki Rogers, PhD, Department of Population and Public Health Sciences, Wright State University - Boonshoft School of Medicine, Kettering, OH
Liban Bule, MSW, Global Bilingual Services Inc., Columbus, OH
Hawa Siad, Somali Women & Children's Alliance, Columbus, OH
Immigrants and refugee populations have serious and distinct public health needs that require dedicated assistance from their new communities. Such obstacles as poverty, language barriers, emotional trauma, lack of education, and disparities in health care act as barriers to hinder new residents from achieving their full potential. Somali community based organizations in Columbus, Ohio, are committed to empowering immigrants and refugees through education, advocacy and mentoring programs. We developed a community-based participatory research (CBPR) network named the East African Health Coalition (EAHC). This working group includes Somali community agencies such as the Somali Women's and Children's Alliance [SWCA] and Global Bilingual Services, Inc., regional mental health and health services agencies including Alcohol, Drug and Mental Health Board of Franklin County, Ohio Commission for Minority Health, Columbus Office of Minority Health, and researchers from Wright State University, among others. It is through the cooperation of this network that we collected quality of life data for 300 Somali refugees that is now being used for advocacy with regard to local public health policy and practice. This presentation illustrates how the knowledge generated by this data is being synthesized, disseminated, and exchanged through this CBPR network. The role of EAHC goes beyond simple dissemination in that it seeks to create positive change in collaboration, practice, policy and perceptions. Empowering Somali community members to provide “insider” perspectives through their engagement and leadership in CBPR and the unfolding of this knowledge translation network will change community based participatory research to community driven participatory research.

Learning Areas:

Advocacy for health and health education
Diversity and culture
Public health or related research
Social and behavioral sciences

Learning Objectives:
Describe the basic tenants of Community Based Participatory Research; Demonstrate understanding of the integral role that Somali community partners play in the East African Health Coalition; Outline the dissemination strategy and its benefits within a CBPR network; Explain the role that CBPR coalitions can play in advocating for change in collaboration, policy, practice and perception to address important health disparities; discuss the benefits and audiences that each partner can target.

Keyword(s): Refugees, Participatory Research

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I am qualified to be an abstract auhtor on the contect I am responsible for because I trained the principles of CBPR to the members of the East African Health Coalition and I am fully engaged in the current knowledge translation process advocating for better quality of life for Somali refugees.
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.