Using Biomarkers to measuring Impact of Refugee Presence and Activities on the Psycho-Social Stress Environment of Host Communities

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Refugee settlers and settlements often have significant impacts on socioeconomic development of their host communities and governments, usually seen as negative. Recent developments challenge this view but there is a need for systematic and rigorous study of the actual impacts in various dimensions of host community well-being: social, economic, and health. This study, conducted at Kakuma Refugee Camp and Lodwar Town in Turkana County, Kenya, proposes the use of biomarkers (Epstein-Barr Virus Anti-Body) to measure psychosocial stress experienced by host communities (Turkana) as result of the presence and impact of refugee activities. If successful, this study would complement and add an independent evaluative dimension to an ongoing host-refugee impact analysis study conducted by the World Bank and the UN at Kakuma Refugee Camp, Kenya, and also provide much needed and desired templates for biocultural approaches to impact of migrants on host populations suffering from poverty and marginalization.