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Africa, health and migration

Migration A–Z


  1. Natéwindé Sawadogo

Published Online: 4 FEB 2013

DOI: 10.1002/9781444351071.wbeghm009

The Encyclopedia of Global Human Migration

The Encyclopedia of Global Human Migration

How to Cite

Sawadogo, N. 2013. Africa, health and migration. The Encyclopedia of Global Human Migration. .

Publication History

  1. Published Online: 4 FEB 2013


Much of the human migration literature refers to the movement of people from one place in the world to another for the purpose of taking up long-term or short-term residence. Most forms of mobility are considered voluntary, when people have chosen to move, or involuntary in the case of forced migration. Migration occurring beyond a country's boundaries is defined here as international migration, as opposed to mobility, or internal migration. Health is defined as the ability of a person to meet the expectations, physically and mentally, of his or her network of relationships. The degree of achievement of social participation is socially constructed, implying that it is embedded within the culture of the person's networks of relationships. Studies of the relationships between human migration and health in Africa are typically replications of general migration theory. Migrants have been either pushed to move due to health problems at their place of origin or pulled by perceived desirable health conditions at destinations. In addition, one often sees migrants represented as carriers of diseases throughout their trajectory and potentially spreading disease wherever they go.


  • social policy;
  • child labor;
  • famine;
  • labor;
  • poverty;
  • regional development;
  • welfare