Pediatric International Health in Syracuse


In 2008, The State of New York resettled 3,628 refugees making it the 4th largest percentage receiving state in the union.  Twenty percent of this population was resettled in the Syracuse area alone. 

A family from Somalia visiting the Pediatric International Health Clinic

The U.S. Refugee Admissions Program (USRAP) has begun to increase the number of new arrivals dramatically and in 2009, the City of Syracuse resettled an unprecedented 1,364 new arrivals, representing a 90% increase over the previous year. 

A refugee family from Iraq

The Pediatric International Health Clinic is a refugee clinic that serves primarily African Refugees from Sudan, Somalia and recently Liberia. These patients present with a unique spectrum of tropical diseases that are not otherwise encountered on a routine basis in a typical North American urban setting including:

  • Active Tuberculosis
  • Malaria
  • Schistosomiasis/Strongyloidiasis
  • Chronic Hepatitis
  • Giardiasis
  • Amebiasis
  • Helminths (assorted varieties)
  • Nutritional Rickets

Aside from the Pediatric International Health Clinic, several faculty members have developed collaborative international health partnerships with facilities in Central America (El Salvador) and Africa (Liberia).  Opportunities for international rotations are being formalized through the development of the HEARTT (Health Education & Relief Through Teaching) program.  This multi-center, collaborative effort is focused on educational efforts in Liberia, Africa.

In January of 2011, Brad Olson, M.D., Director of the Refugee Clinic and of our new International Health Program went to Liberia to help develop our international medicine elective course. He set up a blog to chronical his experiences there. The Syracuse Post Standard ran an article about the trip and the new program. Additional faculty and residents will be going to Liberia in the coming months.

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