Online Program

Forced migration as social determinant of health among Dominican deported persons

Monday, November 2, 2015

Jose F. Colón-Burgos, BA, MS, DrPHstudent, Departement of Social Science , Social determinants of Health program, Graduate School of Public Health, University of Puerto Rico, San Juan, PR
Mark B. Padilla, PhD, MPH, Florida International University, FL
Nelson Varas, PhD, Graduate School of Social Work, University of Puerto Rico School of Social Work, San Juan, PR
Armando Matiz, DMD, Department of Global and Sociocultural studies, School of International and Public Affairs, Florida International University, Miami, FL
Migratory status can determine exposure to health vulnerabilities and risk behaviors that have a direct impact in health outcomes.  Immigrants are strained by social determinants of health such as social exclusion, economic policies, poverty and social inequalities that have a direct impact in their physical and mental health. Deported migrants experience multiple exposures to health demoting factors.  Their exposure to a forced stigmatized migratory process by the issuing country and socially excluded by the recipient country puts them in a highly vulnerable social and health status. Unfortunately, there is little research on the coping and resilience factors in this population. Based on ethnographic observations in social, work, and institution settings and in depth interviews with deported men from the continental US and Puerto Rico, we documented their experiences and coping mechanisms that help them maintain their health and well-being. Our project explores how the legal-political context of immigration regimes generates syndemic conditions for HIV/AIDS and drug use among deportees in the Dominican Republic. We also examine how the Caribbean “pleasure industry” and touristic economies, as absorption point for male deportee labor, contributes to multiple health vulnerabilities and risks.  Some of the structural risk factors with which this population must cope include: lack of access to health and drug treatment services; lack of long-standing social networks; situations of heightened vulnerability to sex work and drug use; and social stigmatization of deported persons.  Our analysis focuses on the resources and assets these men use to respond to these multiple structural factors.

Learning Areas:

Public health or related research
Social and behavioral sciences

Learning Objectives:
Demonstrate the exposure to health vulnerabilities related to migratory status. Assess the impact of social determinants of health on the outcomes of migrant population. Identify the coping mechanism used by deported persons to maintain their health and well-being.

Keyword(s): Immigrant Health, Sexual Risk Behavior

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I have work in previous studies documenting the inequalities in health experienced by immigrant population and in this study I have work as project ethnographer under the direct supervision of the Principal Investigator Dr. Mark Padilla, who is a critical medical anthropologist experienced in the study of HIV and drugs use in the touristic economies on the Dominican Republic.
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.