Balaji, Padmini

Arts & Sciences

BS / BA

China

Population health research on migrant and vulnerable communities living in the Greater Bay Area region of China

The Greater Bay Area Region is experiencing a growing influx of migrants. These communities are at risk for multiple psychosocial, infectious disease, and physical health concerns due to highly stressful working conditions and lack of health protections. Among the most vulnerable labor migrants are domestic workers from Philippines, Indonesia, and Vietnam.

The health and mental health of migrant communities is a significant public health concern because subsets of migrants are at an increased risk of mental health and physical health problems. There are a number of important risks to health that have been documented in migrant communities. These include vulnerabilities to mental health problems based on country of origin concerns (e.g., past history of violence), and current stressors and challenges in adaptation to the post-migration context (e.g., discrimination, remittance strain, social isolation, abuse by employers, poor living conditions).

This research program has the following aims: 1) to establish a longitudinal cohort of labor migrants for the purpose of establishing the population prevalence and incidence of critical physical (obesity), sexual (HIV/Syphilis), and mental health (PTSD, depression, addictions), issues among migrant worker communities in South China using respondent driven sampling (RDS) methods, 2) to identify key drivers of poor population health utilizing a socioecological framework, including personal health behaviors and social determinants of health, and, 3) to focus particular attention on social networks and social capital as a critical levels of analysis to understand population health. In conjunction with this RDS study, the study team is undergoing intervention development and adaptation for migrant health. The aim of this work is to disseminate evidence based low intensity interventions to reduce the burden of poor mental and physical health, in collaboration with the World Health Organization.

Pilot projects are also underway in various provinces in China to address the burden of mental ill health across the life-course (including youth and elders). 

PI Mentor: Carl Latkin

People

Joanne Katz, ScD MS,BSc

Associate Chair, Director of Academic Programs

Noreen Hynes, MD MPH

Director, Geographic Medicine Center of the Division of Infectious Diseases

Robert Bollinger Jr., MD MPH

Director, Johns Hopkins Center for Clinical Global Health Education (CCGHE); Associate Director, Johns Hopkins Center for Global...

Caitlin Kennedy, PhD MPH,BA

Co-Director, MPH concentration in Social and Behavioral Sciences in Public Health; Associate Director, Center for Qualitative...

Yukari C. Manabe, MD

Associate Director of Global Health Research and Innovation

Stefan Baral, MD MPH,MBA,MSc

Director, Key Populations Program
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May 2019

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