Health Risks and Migration in Sub-Saharan Countries

Last updated September 2009

Alice Mesnard

Health risks are among the most severe risks confronting poor households in sub-Saharan Africa, especially in areas where affordable and good quality health care is scarce and access to health insurance is limited. Individuals may travel long distances or even move to seek treatment, escape from infectious diseases, or help their families overcome financial hardship resulting from high medical expenditures and loss of income due to illness. Such relationships between health risks and migration are rarely explicitly studied despite their important consequences for the planning, targeting, and effectiveness of health policies. Our research will investigate the role of migration in dealing with the risks of chronic and acute illnesses, injuries, hospitalizations, and communicable diseases that may affect people’s economic situations as well as their health.

Contact Information:
Alice Mesnard,, Institute for Fiscal Studies