Undetected in Denmark: Many refugees not getting health checks

Infectious hepatitis, PTSD and tuberculosis among the diseases being brought in

Despite health check-ups being an obligatory part of the integration of refugees in Denmark, an alarming number are not checked by the municipalities.

A new report showed, for instance, that under half of the refugees and family-reunified individuals in Odense, Kolding, Vejle and Silkeborg municipalities had been checked by a doctor.

“If you have infectious hepatitis, there is a risk of permanent liver damage and cancer,” Palle Valentiner-Branth, the head of the VPD and MRSA group at the Department of Infectious Disease Epidemiology at the State Serum Institute (SSI), told DR Nyheder.

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Loads of illness
According to SSI, approximately every fifth refugee coming from certain areas in Africa and Asia can have infectious hepatitis – an illness that is essential to diagnose early.

A health check-up is also necessary to discover if the refugees have other chronic illnesses and psychological problems.

About every fifth refugee displays signs of tuberculosis, about half lack vitamin D and a considerable proportion struggle with anaemia, metabolic diseases and trauma, like PTSD (Post Traumatic Stress Disorder).