The North American Refugee Health Conference (NARHC) is the largest refugee health conference of its kind globally and offers access to recent research, best practices in refugee health and a great opportunity for networking. The 2019 conference will be held in Toronto from June 14-16.
While mass migration has been present since the beginning of mankind, the world is witnessing unprecedented migration of populations to countries throughout Europe and to the southern borders of Canada and the United States. As the Syrian war rages on for an 8th year and as Rohingya villages are burned to the ground in Burma, we are confronted with stories of horror and hardship shared by those who have lived through these experiences. Those that help refugees and asylum seekers often experience this trauma vicariously and struggle as they attempt to manage the complex range of issues and emotions raised through their work. These realities have informed the themes for this year’s conference which will focus on the Rohingya crisis, Trauma and Resiliency.
The Honourable Bob Rae, lawyer, human rights advocate and former politician will speak about the atrocities he witnessed and the plight of the Rohingya as they flee from Burma to Bangladesh. Dr. Maya Prabhu, psychiatrist, and lawyer from Yale University will deliver a plenary talk on trauma and resiliency, explaining how those who support vulnerable refugee populations can support healing. In addition, we offer two special pre-courses – Intensive Update Course in Clinical Tropical Medicine and Travelers’ Health in collaboration with the American Society of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene (ASTMH) and Nutritional Issues in Refugees in collaboration with the Canadian Nutrition Society.
On behalf of the conference committee, I look forward to welcoming all refugee health professionals and experts from related disciplines interested in discussing the best health practices, addressing challenges for optimal care, research and advocacy for the refugee patient population both pre and post-migration and self-care for healers.