African refugee and immigrant health needs: Report from a Community-Based House Meeting Project

Linda Boise, Anais Tuepker, Teresa Gipson, Yves Vigmenon, Isabelle Soule, Sade Onadeko

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

20 Scopus citations


Background: As in other communities in the United States, information is lacking about the health needs of Africans refugees and immigrants living in Portland, Oregon. In 2008, the African Partnership for Health coalition (APH) was formed to carry out research, advocacy and education to improve the health and well-being of Africans in Oregon. This was APH's initial project. Objectives: The purposes of this study were to gather data about the perceived health needs and barriers to health care Africans encounter, and lay the foundation for a program of action to guide APH's future work. Methods: Community-based participatory research (CBPR) methods were used to collect data on how to improve the health of the African community in the Portland area and define an agenda for future projects. Popular education principles guided the engagement and training of African community members, who conducted nine house meetings with 56 Africans from 14 countries. The results were analyzed by African community members and researchers and prioritized at a community meeting. Results: Three themes emerged: The stressfulness of life in America, the challenges of gaining access to health care, and the pervasive feelings of disrespect and lack of understanding of Africans' health needs, culture, and life experiences by health providers and staff members. Conclusion: Using CBPR methods, we identified and prioritized the needs of the African community. This information provides a framework for future work of the African Partnership for Health and other service and advocacy groups.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)369-378
Number of pages10
JournalProgress in Community Health Partnerships: Research, Education, and Action
Issue number4
StatePublished - 2013


  • African refugees and immigrants
  • Community-based participatory research
  • Health care barriers
  • Health needs
  • Mental health

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Health(social science)
  • Education
  • Sociology and Political Science


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