Health Care for Migrant Farm Workers

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Although agriculture is one of the most hazardous jobs in the United States, there is a huge gap in healthcare for those that work in the industry. Due to the large migrant and seasonal worker population, especially those from Mexico, it is a hard population to reach when it comes to healthcare needs. Fear, language barriers and cultural norms are all barriers that need to be addressed for this special population. “(Holmes 2011) Agriculture is one of the most hazardous occupations in the United States. In 2000, there were 780 deaths and 130,000 disabling injuries in agriculture. The only industry that had more deaths was construction, with 1,220.”(Hansen and Donohoe 2003) “Migrant workers face numerous barriers to medical care, including lack of transportation, insurance, and sick leave, the threat or fear of wage or job loss, language barriers between MSFWs and health care providers, and limited clinic hours.”(Hansen and Donohoe 2003) Traumatic injuries, food insecurity, infectious disease, chemical and pesticide related illness, dermatitis, dental, heat stress, respiratory conditions, musculoskeletal disorders, and reproductive health are just some of the issues that migrant farm workers face. (Hansen and Donohoe 2003; Wang, Myers et al. 2011; Weigel and Armijos 2011) “Little empirical data are available examining the injury experience of hired crop workers in the United States (US).”(Wang, Myers et al. 2011) Work-related injury data from a national survey collected through the National Agricultural Workers Survey (NAWS) in the years 1999, 2002, 2003, and 2004 on 13,604 crop farm workers revealed that the bulk of injuries occurred to male (84%) and Mexican born (72%) workers. “The use of hand tools, falls, and lifting overex... ... middle of paper ... ...nd J. D. Hovey (2003). "Psychosocial stressors associated with Mexican migrant farmworkers in the midwest United States." J Immigr Health 5(2): 75-86. Rogler, L. H., D. E. Cortes, et al. (1991). "Acculturation and mental health status among Hispanics. Convergence and new directions for research." Am Psychol 46(6): 585-597. Salinas, C. (2004). "Creating Successful Academic Programs for Chicana/o High School Migrant Students: The Role of Advocate Educators." The High School Journal 87(4): 54-65. Wang, S., J. R. Myers, et al. (2011). "Injuries to hired crop workers in the United States: a descriptive analysis of a national probability survey." Am J Ind Med 54(10): 734-747. Weigel, M. M. and R. X. Armijos (2011). "Exploratory Study of the Occupational Health and Health-Seeking of Migrant and Seasonal Farmworkers on the U.S.-Mexico Border." J Immigr Minor Health.

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