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Ghana Journal of Geography

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Exploring health implications associated with irregular migration from Ghana to Libya and beyond

A Tanle

Abstract


Although there have been several negative media reports on the plight of irregular migrants from Ghana, research on issues related to their health has been rather scanty. The study assesses health implications associated with irregular migration from Ghana using both the Techiman and Nkoranza Municipalities as a case study. Through a snowball sampling technique, 237 return migrants from Libya were interviewed using questionnaire (200) and in-depth interviews (37). Not only were the migrants predisposed to dehydration, malnutrition/undernourishment and physical exhaustion due to long periods of walking with inadequate water and food, but also fatalities were common among them. Reportedly, 17
migrants fell sick and died in the desert when their vehicle lost its direction compelling them to walk more than one week, while some 15 others from the study areas drowned in their attempt to cross the Mediterranean Sea into Europe. The migrants mostly live and work under poor conditions, thus some had pneumonia while others died in their ghettos (uncompleted buildings) due to excessive cold conditions in winter. Irregular migration is
pursued at the cost of the health and life of the migrants. One option for addressing irregular migration from Ghana is to provide skills training and seed capital or job opportunities for young school leavers who could not further their education after the Junior High School or Senior High School.

Keywords: Health, irregular migration, youngpeople, Libya, Ghana




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