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The 1999 international emergency humanitarian evacuation of the Kosovars to Canada: A qualitative study of service providers' perspectives at the international, national and local levels

Author(s): Fowler Nancy | Redwood-Campbell Lynda | Molinaro Elizabeth | Howard Michelle | Kaczorowski Janusz | Jafarpour Morteza | Robinson Susan

Journal: International Journal for Equity in Health
ISSN 1475-9276

Volume: 4;
Issue: 1;
Start page: 1;
Date: 2005;
Original page

Abstract Background In response to the Kosovo crisis, Canada received 5,500 Albanian Kosovar refugees in 1999 as part of the emergency humanitarian evacuation and settlement effort. This study attempts to describe the experiences of service providers at the international, national, and local levels, involved in the organization and delivery of health and settlement services in Canada for the Kosovar refugees. Methods A qualitative case study design using key informant interviews was used. Nominated sampling was used to identify 17 individuals involved in the organization and delivery of health and settlement. Key themes were identified and recommendations made to provide a framework for the development of policy to guide response to future humanitarian emergencies. Results Six themes emerged: (1) A sense of being overwhelmed, (2) A multitude of health issues, (3) critical challenges in providing health care, (4) access to health and settlement services, (5) overall successes and (6) need for a coordinated approach to migration health. Conclusions For those involved, the experience was overwhelming but rewarding. Interviewees' major concerns were the need for a more comprehensive and coordinated approach to the flow of medical information and handling of specific health problems.
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