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We Wait for a Miracle

Health Care and the Forcibly Displaced

Muhammad H. Zaman

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The story of how we treat refugees is a story about our own moral failings, and the barriers that refugees face in accessing health care can be as difficult to overcome as any other adversity in their path to stability.

Around the world, millions are forcibly displaced by conflict, climate change, and persecution. Some cross international borders, while others are displaced within their own countries. In We Wait for a Miracle, Muhammad H. Zaman shares poignant stories across continents to highlight the health care experiences of refugees and forced migrants. For many of these people, health...

The story of how we treat refugees is a story about our own moral failings, and the barriers that refugees face in accessing health care can be as difficult to overcome as any other adversity in their path to stability.

Around the world, millions are forcibly displaced by conflict, climate change, and persecution. Some cross international borders, while others are displaced within their own countries. In We Wait for a Miracle, Muhammad H. Zaman shares poignant stories across continents to highlight the health care experiences of refugees and forced migrants. For many of these people, health risks unfortunately become part of the fabric of everyday life as they navigate new countries that treat them with varying degrees of care and indifference.

Across widely varied local systems, countries of origin, health concerns, and other contexts, Zaman finds that barriers to health care share these key factors: trust, social network, efficiency of the health system, and the regulatory framework of the host environment. A combination of these factors explains difficulties in accessing health care across the geographic and geopolitical spectrum and challenges the existing global public health framework, which is based entirely on local context. In moving stories that span seven countries—Sudan, South Sudan, Uganda, Zimbabwe, Pakistan, Colombia, and Venezuela—Zaman shares the everyday struggles of refugees, the internally displaced, and the stateless in accessing the health care they need.

This unique look at an urgent global challenge addresses the issue of access for populations that are currently in distress due to civil war, economic collapse, or a conflict driven by external state actors. Organic social networks and trust, rather than top-down policies, are often what save the lives of migrants, refugees, and the stateless. Focusing on that trust—and its deficit—in camps, urban slums, hospitals, and clinics, Zaman combines personal and journalistic accounts of refugees with broad systemic analysis on global health care access to compare problems and solutions in different regions and provide holistic policy and practice recommendations for refugees, internally displaced persons, and stateless populations.

Reviews

Reviews

Zaman highlights the difficulties faced by millions of individuals today who are forced to be refugees or displaced persons and demonstrates that providing health care to these vulnerable populations requires different, localized solutions. Brought to life by very real stories, We Wait For a Miracle was a pleasure to read and very close to my heart.

Captivating and compelling, We Wait For a Miracle narrates the stories of how displaced people around the world struggle to access health and social services and provides unique solutions for how to address this global problem.

Combining personal stories with detailed analysis, Muhammad Zaman's considered, sensitive study shines a spotlight on the disparities in health care for refugees and other displaced people, crucially bringing their voices and experiences to the fore.

In this beautiful book, Zaman pushes past statistics and stereotypes to write with complexity, urgency, and insight about health crises facing displaced people. His fast-paced narrative shows individuals in impossible situations who nonetheless construct webs of trust, compassion, and loving care that most of the world rarely sees. This is a must read.

The miracle of M. Zaman in this book is that he has made the most marginalized groups visible persons. Having read it, I can no longer claim ignorance and blindness.

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About

Book Details

Publication Date
Status
Available
Trim Size
6
x
9
Pages
248
ISBN
9781421447308
Table of Contents

List of Characters and Locations
Preface
Introduction
Chapter 1. Current Situations of Forcibly Displaced Persons
Chapter 2. The History of Forcibly Displaced Persons and Refugee Camps
Chapter 3. Models of

List of Characters and Locations
Preface
Introduction
Chapter 1. Current Situations of Forcibly Displaced Persons
Chapter 2. The History of Forcibly Displaced Persons and Refugee Camps
Chapter 3. Models of Health Care Systems
Chapter 4. Trusted Social Networks Help Navigate the System
Chapter 5. Unregulated Medical Practices and Providers
Chapter 6. Accessing Health Care via Digital Technologies
Chapter 7. Racism and Discrimination Impede Access to Health Care
Conclusion
Acknowledgments
Notes
Index

Author Bio
Muhammad H. Zaman
Featured Contributor

Muhammad H. Zaman

Muhammad H. Zaman (BOSTON, MA) is the Howard Hughes Medical Institute Professor of Biomedical Engineering and International Health at Boston University. He is director of the Center on Forced Displacement at Boston University. He is the author of Bitter Pills: The Global War on Counterfeit Drugs and Biography of Resistance: The Epic Battle between People and Pathogens.