Tuberculosis and Migrant Pathways in an Urban Setting: A Mixed-Method Case Study on a Treatment Centre in the Lisbon Metropolitan Area, Portugal

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Abstract

Tuberculosis (TB) is an infectious disease associated with poverty. In the European Union TB tends to concentrate in urban settings. In Lisbon, previous studies revealed, the presence of migrant populations from a high endemic country, is one of the risk factors contributing to TB. To better understand TB in foreign-born individuals in the Lisbon Metropolitan Area, a mixed-method case study was undertaken on a TB treatment centre in a high-risk part of urban Portugal. Quantitatively, annual TB cases were analysed from 2008 to 2018, dividing foreign-origin cases into recent migrants and long-term migrants. Qualitatively, we explored recent migrants’ reasons, experiences and perceptions associated with the disease. Our results showed that foreign-born individuals accounted for 45.7% of cases, mainly originated from Angola, Guinea-Bissau, and Cabo Verde. TB in recent migrants increased over the years for Angola and Guinea-Bissau, while for Cabo Verde TB cases were due to migrants residing in Portugal for more than 2 years. Recent migrants’ reasons to travel to Portugal were to study, to live and work, tourism, and seeking better healthcare. Visiting family and friends, historical links and common language were key drivers for the choice of country. Recent migrants and long-term migrants may present distinct background profiles associated with diagnosed TB.

Original languageEnglish
Article number3834
JournalInternational Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health
Volume19
Issue number7
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Apr 2022

Keywords

  • Case study
  • Health inequalities
  • Migrants
  • Portugal
  • Social determinants
  • Tuberculosis
  • Urban health

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