Public health crises and Ukrainian refugees

Zhaohui Su, Dean McDonnell, Ali Cheshmehzangi, Junaid Ahmad, Sabina Šegalo, Claudimar Pereira da Veiga, Yu Tao Xiang

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

14 Citations (Scopus)


Conflicts are inevitable, and so are refugees. Due to conflicts in Ukraine, the global refugee population has reached new highs. As people continue to flee Ukraine amid the ongoing pandemic in droves, their exposure to COVID-19 and infectious diseases that are common among the refugee population, such as tuberculosis, is on the rise as well. Also factoring in the fact that Ukraine has a large population living with communicable diseases like HIV and hepatitis C, along with other non-communicable conditions like diabetes and cancer, there is a pronounced need to protect these refugees and local residents from potential public health crises. In this paper, we investigate the challenges that health and government officials face in addressing refugees’ health needs and preferences. Furthermore, we discuss the imperative to provide timely and effective health services to refugees, such as psychoneuroimmunology-based interventions that could help address refugees’ multifactorial and multifaceted health needs and requirements. While conflicts are inevitable, public health crises are not. In light of the renewed imperative to safeguard shared humanity and solidify global solidarity, collaborative actions are needed to ensure fair, kind, and true public health environments are available to refugees of the current conflict and beyond.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)243-245
Number of pages3
JournalBrain, Behavior, and Immunity
Publication statusPublished - Jul 2022


  • COVID-19
  • Global health
  • Infectious diseases
  • Psychoneuroimmunology
  • Refugees


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