Transnationalism, parenting, and child disciplinary practices of African immigrants in Alberta, Canada

Dominic A. Alaazi, Bukola Salami, Sophie Yohani, Helen Vallianatos, Philomina Okeke-Ihejirika, Christina Nsaliwa

Child Abuse and Neglect, (Published December 2018)

This article focuses on the parental disciplinary practices of African migrants in Alberta, Canada. The authors themselves are members of the immigrant community and so were better able to research these practices in a supportive and reflexive manner.

“We found that African immigrant parents used corporal discipline, persuasive discipline, and a hybrid of the two, as well as emerging practices involving transnational fostering and emotional isolation of children who persistently misbehaved. These practices, in their totality, appeared to be influenced by the transnational experiences of parents and precepts that are traceable to Canada’s legal and educational systems.”

Child discipline is a controversial subject, and these authors nuance the topic of discipline in African immigrant households by examining how parents negotiate new environments and expectations by adjusting practices as needed.

Read the full article here. (Note that institutional restrictions on access apply).

Call for papers and multi-media contributions: BMJ series on Migration and Health

A collaboration with BMJ-MHADRI-IOM

September 2019 saw the launch of the BMJ’s migration health series, developed in collaboration with the Migration Health and Development Research Network (MHADRI) and the United Nations Migration agency. It aims to provide insights and perspectives by migrants and refugee communities, government authorities, researchers, policy makers, practitioners, civil society and industry groups in the issues, challenges and complexities in advancing migration health at national, regional and global levels.   

A call for papers!

The best pieces for The BMJ series will be policy and analytical pieces that develop new areas of thinking, challenge existing norms – taking on a major issue and offering new insights with data to support them. Papers that will take stock of the current state of evidence, debates and controversies, underscore advances, highlight critical gaps in evidence generation, and the key interventions needed for knowledge generation for advancing migration health polices and practice.

Papers of up to 1,500 words in length will be considered. BMJ encourages submissions from a diverse range of stakeholders as indicated. Perspectives from Low to Middle-Income Countries, and papers written collaboratively between researchers and policy makers are encouraged. Submissions should follow BMJ style guidelines. The series is calibrated along the axis of three perspectives: from the ‘individual’ migrant, the ‘health system’; and, the ‘political’- navigating policy, politics and diplomacy.

Political dimension: exploring the politics, power and governance around migration and health. Migration discourses continue to be at the forefront of political and social movements, dominating headlines and election campaigns, yet who is driving the migration and health agenda? How is migration health been framed as a public health priority? Where does it sit within health agendas at national, regional and global levels?

Health Systems dimension: Despite the mantra to ‘leaving no one behind on the path to universal health coverage’ non-citizens and migrant groups are often left-behind or left-out of health system plans…rethinking health systems responses, health care financing, health coverage to migration, human mobility and health…  

Individual dimension: What are the perspectives and experiences of migrants and refugees in navigating health care? What are underlying discourses of vulnerability and ‘othering’? What is the evidence on health impacts and what are strategies and sustainable solutions being explored?…

 This is by no means an exhaustive list, but serves as reflection of the catalytic questions along each axis!

Call for multi-media contributions!

The BMJ series will provide an opportunity for multi-media submissions. Those working in the migration health field with the expertise and experience of the lessons (un)learnt distilled from dedicated practice of providing/enabling health care or conducting research with migrants and refugees can contribute multi-media content for the series. Of course, the lived experiences and stories of migrants and refugees are highly encouraged. The submissions may include for instance photo essays, audio-visual story board narratives, audio recorded commentaries/interviews and visual artwork.

A short analytical piece must accompany all submissions anchored to the 3 themes of the series. It is essential for any submitted work, the person/s who is the subject of the photo, audio or video recording to have provided requisite consent/assent for use and sharing of their images, stories, artwork and audio-video content. The final editorial decision of which multi-media submissions to be posted on the BMJ-series will of course be made by the BMJ through peer-review processors. Members should contact us for pre-submission inquiries.

What would make a good topic for debate in the migration health field?

MHADRI would like to hear from you on ideas for debates on migration health related topics, that may be organised as podcasts in 2020. Please submit your ideas for debate questions and experts you feel that you will like to engage in such debates. Please contact MHADRI for pre-submission inquiries.

MHADRI Bibliometric project

Assessing the current status of research activity and identifying gaps in research output in international and internal migration and health is an important step in mapping the evidence-base in migration health.  Through bibliometric analysis, indicators of published literature in global migration health pertaining to migrants across different categories. Further sub-set analysis along geographic clusters and by health themes such as mental health, malaria, tuberculosis and migration may also be investigated. While there are limitations, bibliometrics allows analysis of size, growth patterns, distributions and mapping of global research productivity.

Patterns in publications, authorship analysis, geographical distribution, international research collaboration, important themes discussed, and highly cited articles in the health of migrants can be examined. Bibliometrics is also an important first step in undertaking systematic review.  

In 2018, MHADRI network members and IOM undertook a Bibliometric analysis of global migration health research. The data showed gaps in the research productivity ‘heat map’ at global level. Two migration health research workshops held in Nepal and South Africa in 2019 facilitated by a coalition of organizations (IOM, ACMS, QMUL-Migration&Health South Asia network and MHADRI) highlighted the importance of undertaking national, sub-regional and regional ‘deep dives’ into mapping migration health research output for both international and internal migrants.

A pilot bibliometric training workshop will be held in Manila, Philippines in November 2019, with the aim of engaging scholars from the South Asian region to build their skills and capacities to undertake such bibliometric analysis.

Workshop objectives

Framework synthesis:

  • Developing a conceptual framework to guide Bibliometric analysis at national, sub-regional and regional levels – for South & South East Asia  
  • Framework to guide Bibliometric analysis on Health Assessments for Migrants and Refugees

Skills development:

  • To provide an overview and technical instruction on performing an in-depth bibliometric analysis of migration and health-related publications using Scopus.
  • To discuss the use of appropriate visualization tools and software in data representation and reporting.
  • To provide guidance on structuring publications resulting from the bibliometric analysis.
  • To define a framework combining bibliometric review with more conceptual-theoretical and critical review to synthesize thematic and empirical gaps in knowledge.

Opportunity to participate in identifying key migration and health research priorities

A Delphi will be conducted among MHADRI members, with the aim of identifying key research priorities and research questions on migration and health at subnational, national, sub-regional, regional and global levels.

Please encourage other migration and health researchers to join MHADRI to ensure that we access as many voices as possible in this important process.

Any person who has or is currently undertaking research on advancing knowledge on any aspect(s) of the relationship between migration and health is eligible to be MHADRI network member.  We particularly encourage researchers based in low- and middle-income contexts to join MHADRI.

Access and utilization of mental health services for immigrants and refugees: Perspectives of immigrant service providers

Bukola Salami RN, PhD; Jordana Salma RN, PhD; Kathleen Hegadoren RN, PhD

International journal of Mental Health Nursing (Published 09 July 2018)

This paper focuses on migrant services for mental health in Alberta, Canada. The authors argue that health providers perceive several challenges to access and utilization of services, including stigma, language barriers, and cultural ideas about mental health. Service providers adopt different strategies to better provide for their patients in response to these different barriers. Read the full paper here

MHADRI network evaluation

We are currently embarking on an evaluation of the MHADRI network, taking stock of where we are in 2019. With the support of MA student intern Tinyiko Sithole, we will share the key lessons learned and use these to inform the way forward for the MHADRI network into 2020.

Global mapping of migration & health training & capacity building

Led by Dr Rebecca Walker, a postdoctoral fellow at the African Centre for Migration & Society (ACMS) at Wits University, this initiative is conducting a global mapping of actors, agencies and networks engaged in delivering training and capacity building/developing programmes in the field of migration and health. The aim is to develop a baseline understanding of work that is being done, by whom and where. The online survey is currently being finalised and will soon be shared with the MHADRI network.