Refugee Health Program: Afghan Health Resources

As Wisconsin welcomes Afghan arrivals to our state, it is important our providers have the knowledge and resources necessary to provide culturally informed care.

For more information on Afghan arrivals and Operation Allies Welcome, see the Department of Homeland Security's webpage.

For resources on culturally informed health care for Afghan arrivals, see below. Please note that some general refugee health resources have been included, as they may still be useful in guiding care for newly arrived Afghans.


View the Wisconsin Refugee Health Program's recent presentation on Afghan resettlement to local health departments.

 

For Clinicians

Afghan Culture and Health Screening Considerations – A webinar by Center of Excellence in Newcomer Health describing potential entry pathways for Afghans, potential health concerns, and cultural considerations for providers

American College of Emergency Physicians – Preparing to Care for Afghan Refugees – A webpage with information and resources on Afghan culture and clinical concerns that may be relevant to practitioners

CareRef – A tool for clinicians that provides individualized guidance on post-arrival medical screenings based on Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Domestic Refugee Screening Guidance, demographic and geographic factors, and the specialized needs of refugee populations (DHS highly recommends this resource.)

Caring for Newly Arrived Refugees – A free, four-hour online course helping providers to prepare for newly arrived Afghans, including cultural backgrounds, medical exams, mental health care, and clinical observations

CDC - Guidance for Clinicians Caring for Individuals Recently Evacuated from Afghanistan – A CDC Health Advisory that gives infection-specific recommendations for those caring for the Afghan arrivals

CDC - Response to Afghan to Afghan Evacuees – A webpage with health fact-sheets in English, Dari, Pashto, and Farsi, including documents on COVID-19, various infectious diseases, hand washing, masking, and maternal health

COE - Brief Overview for Clinicians Caring for Afghan New Arrivals – An overview for clinicians that includes details on medical interpretation, potential health conditions, and prior health screening within the context of Afghan arrivals (DHS highly recommends this resource.)

Communication Guide for Afghan Patients (Medical-Specific Translations) – Translations of common medical terms and medications in English, Dari, and Pashto

University of Minnesota - Afghan Evacuees Health Resources – A resource hub for those working with Afghan evacuees, including medical conditions, screening tools and resources, and cultural training tools and resources

Culturally Informed Care for Afghans

Afghanistan – Culture, Etiquette, and Business Practices – A webpage with details on many aspects of Afghan culture, including language, religion and beliefs, culture and society, social etiquette and customs, and business culture and etiquette

American College of Emergency Physicians – Preparing to Care for Afghan Refugees – A webpage with information and resources on Afghan culture and clinical concerns that may be relevant to practitioners

Caring for Newly Arrived Refugees – A free, four-hour online course helping providers to prepare for newly arrived Afghans, including cultural backgrounds, medical exams, mental health care, and clinical observations

CDC – Guidance for Clinicians Caring for Individuals Recently Evacuated from Afghanistan – A CDC Health Advisory that gives infection-specific recommendations for those caring for the Afghan arrivals

CDC – Response to Afghan Evacuees – A webpage with health fact-sheets in English, Dari, Pashto, and Farsi, including documents on COVID-19, various infectious diseases, hand washing, masking, and maternal health

CDC – Traveler's Health Guide to Afghanistan (2021) – A profile of various health concerns in Afghanistan

COE – Brief Overview for Clinicians Caring for Afghan New Arrivals – An overview for clinicians that includes details on medical interpretation, potential health conditions, and prior health screening within the context of Afghan arrivals

CORE – Responding to Increased Arrivals from Afghanistan (2021) – A guide for staff preparing to care for Afghan arrivals in a culturally-informed way

Communication Guide for Afghan Patients (Medical-Specific Translations) – Translations of common medical terms and medications in English, Dari, and Pashto

SNTC - Cultural Quick Reference Guide for Afghanistan – A guide by the Southeastern National Tuberculosis Center with information on Afghan cultural norms, health information, communication, and country-specific TB facts

UNICEF – Afghanistan Health Profile – A data profile on child health in Afghanistan

University of Minnesota – Afghan Evacuees Health Resources – A resource hub for those working with Afghan evacuees, including medical conditions, screening tools and resources, and cultural training tools and resources

World Health Organization (WHO) – Afghanistan Health Profile (2015) – An online document with information on communicable diseases, noncommunicable diseases, health systems, and demographic profiles of Afghanistan

Lead Poisoning

Childhood Lead Poisoning Prevention: Refugees and Other Newcomer Persons Resettled in the United States – A CDC webpage on the higher risk of lead poisoning in refugee and other newcomer children, including causes and risk factors of exposure, lead screening recommendations, and case studies

Lead Poisoning in Children public service announcement (PSA) video – A PSA video by Washington's Afghan Health Initiative explaining the risk of lead poisoning, causes of lead exposure, and how to prevent it (English | Dari | Pashto)

Screening for Lead During the Domestic Medical Examination for Newly Arrived Refugees – A CDC webpage on potential lead exposures, lead screening recommendations, and clinical considerations

Surma Can Poison Children – A client-oriented infographic by Western States Pediatric Environmental Health Specialty Unit (PEHSU) providing information on lead poisoning, products with high lead content, safer product alternatives, and testing (English | Dari | Pashto | Urdu)(PDF)

Mental Health

Resources for Care Provision

The 5 Components of Psychological First Aid – An article on the tools of Psychological First Aid that can be used to "help patients as they respond to traumatic events"

Afghan Humanitarian Arrivals: Post resettlement stressors, coping strategies, and the Afghan Symptom Checklist - A Center of Excellence webinar that provides examples of specific resettlement stressors and impacts facing Afghan arrivals, cultural understanding of distress and mental health, avenues of help, and use of the Afghan Symptom Checklist

Building a Culturally Informed Network of Refugee Mental Healthcare Providers – A guide for refugee service providers to increase cultural awareness in mental health practitioners

Guide to Trauma-Informed Care: Preventing Crises and De-escalating Difficult Situations – A guide to help service providers interact with refugees in a trauma-informed way

Headington Institute Resources - A collection of resources, including articles, reading courses, exercises, videos, and other materials helping caregivers to address resiliency, self-care, and vicarious trauma.

Institute on Trauma and Trauma-Informed Care – A website with talks, online modules, and manuals on trauma-informed care

Mental Health First Aid – A website with trainings, courses, and resources on how to identify and support those with mental health or substance abuse problems

National Child Traumatic Stress Network - Refugee Trauma – A website with information on the experience of refugees, the effects of trauma, screening and assessment tools, intervention techniques, and resources

Unbound Medicine - Psychological First Aid – A website with the "Who, What, Where, When, and Why" of Psychological First Aid as well as implementation

Psychological First Aid During COVID-19 – A webinar on how to use Psychological First Aid in the context of refugee health and COVID-19

Psychological First Aid (PFA) to Support Clients Affected by the Crisis in Afghanistan – A Switchboard webinar presenting the principles of PFA, especially as it pertains to clients affected by the Afghanistan crisis

WHO - Psychological First Aid: Guide for Field Workers – A guide to practicing Psychological First Aid in crisis situations as well as how to care for oneself and colleagues

Secondary Trauma Resources for Care Providers

ACF Secondary Traumatic Stress Resource Guide – A webpage by the Administration for Children and Families (ACF) providing a description of secondary traumatic stress, symptoms of compassion fatigue, and relevant interventions and approaches

Bearing Witness: Traumatic Stress and the Helping Professional – A webinar by the University of Minnesota's Center for Practice Transformation focusing on how to identify and manage secondary traumatic stress, as well as the differences between secondary traumatic stress, vicarious trauma, moral injury, compassion fatigue, and burnout

"I Was Already Burned Out, and Now This..." Strategies for Staff and Supervisors to Mitigate Burnout, Vicarious Trauma, and Other Occupational Hazards – A 2020 Switchboard training for front-line and management staff working with refugees which outlines types of occupational hazards for emotional distress, organizational responses, and personal and organizational response plans

NCTSN Secondary Traumatic Stress Series – A series of webinars by the National Child Traumatic Stress Network (NCTSN) which includes "Cultural Implications of Secondary Traumatic Stress," "Secondary Traumatic Stress and Provider Self Care in Disaster and Terrorism Settings, Organizational Secondary Traumatic Stress," and "Secondary Traumatic Stress... What is it?"

ProQOL Secondary Traumatic Stress Handout – A PDF handout by ProQOL with English, Arabic, and Kiswahili translations which outlines the definition of secondary traumatic stress, symptoms, risk factors, and self-care practices

Wellbeing for Service Providers During COVID-19: Managing our Own Emotional Needs While Helping Refugee Clients – A Switchboard article for those helping refugees that discusses the emotional challenges in helping professions and ways to recognize and address them

Working with Young People in the Trauma Space: Vicarious Trauma – An Orygen webinar for professionals working with young people who have gone through trauma and injustice that describes a framework of self-care rather than specific self-care practices

Maternal Health

Having a Baby in a New Country: The Views and Experiences of Afghan Families and Stakeholders (2013) - A report describing the views and experiences of Afghan families in navigating new health systems with regards to maternal and child health

Obstetric Care in Afghanistan and How to Provide Obstetric Care for Afghan Refugee Patients in the U.S. (2017) - A short paper focusing on culturally-informed ante- and perinatal care for Afghan patients

See the Maternity section under "Translated Health Resources" for translated maternal health information and resources

WIC and Dietary Considerations

Afghan Food and Cultural Profile: Dietetic Consultation Guide – A guide to culturally-informed interactions with Afghan clients, information on traditional food and food practices, assessment and diagnosis tools, and intervention practices

The Difference Between Halal and Zabiha – A webpage defining the Islamic concepts of halal and zabiha

WIC-Eligible Foods – A detailed list of foods that qualify for WIC in accordance with federal requirements

Useful Webinars

Afghan Culture and Health Screening Considerations – A webinar by Center of Excellence in Newcomer Health describing potential entry pathways for Afghans, potential health concerns, and cultural considerations for providers

Afghan Culture: Understanding Cultural Values, Attitudes, and Approaches to Mental Health – A webinar by the Office of Refugee Resettlement with a panel of mental health professionals and educators experienced in refugee trauma, education, and literacy (Passcode: vCF08@Jr)

Afghan Humanitarian Arrivals: Leishmaniasis and Malaria - A webinar by the Center of Excellence that provides clinical guidance on screening, diagnosis, and clinical management of leishmaniasis and malaria in newly arrived Afghan patients

Best Practices: COVID-19 Prevention and Mitigation Among Afghan Communities – A webinar by the National Resource Center for Refugees, Immigrants, and Migrants (NRC-RIM) highlighting practices by the Afghan Health Initiative and Washington State Department of Health in improving COVID-19 vaccine uptake in their state's Afghan community

Creating a Welcoming and Healing Environment for Newly Arriving Afghan Children and Families – A webinar by the University of Minnesota which covers health literacy and cultural competence, reflections and perspectives, funds of knowledge, and trauma to resilience

Psychological First Aid (PFA) to Support Clients Affected by the Crisis in Afghanistan – A Switchboard webinar presenting the principles of PFA, especially as it pertains to clients affected by the Afghanistan crisis

Welcoming Afghan Refugees – A webinar by the Islamic Council of North America featuring a panel of five speakers discussing the arrival of Afghan humanitarian parolees

Who Are Refugees and How Do They Arrive in the United States? Understanding the Refugee Resettlement Process – A webinar by Switchboard outlining the resettlement process and the services typically provided to refugees as well as expectations for 2022 refugee arrivals

Who Are the Afghan Newcomers? Understanding the Background and Socio-Cultural Strengths and Needs of Afghan Evacuees to the United States – A Switchboard webinar which gives information on the events leading to the Afghanistan evacuation crisis, and a social and cultural background of the country

Wisconsin Resettlement and Afghan Arrivals - An informative presentation by Wisconsin State Refugee Health Coordinator Savitri Tsering on Operation Allies Welcome, the resettlement process, and the intersection of local health departments (please note map at 9:12:00 inaccurate)

Translated Health Resources

COVID-19

COVID-19 Symptoms fact sheet (CDC): English | Dari | Pashto | Farsi

COVID-19 Welcome Book for Refugees (CDC): English | Dari | Pashto | Farsi

What you can do if you're at higher risk of severe illness from COVID-19 (CDC): English | Dari | Pashto | Farsi

Managing COVID-19 at home fact sheet (CDC): English | Dari | Pashto | Farsi

COVID-19 pre-vaccination screening questions (CDC): English | Dari | Pashto

Getting your COVID-19 vaccine webpage (CDC): English | Pashto | Dari

Get both doses of COVID-19 vaccine (CDC): English | Dari | Pashto | Urdu

Why COVID-19 testing is important (CDC): English | Dari | Pashto | Urdu

What to expect during a COVID-19 test (CDC): English | Dari | Pashto | Urdu

How long to isolate if you have COVID-19 PSA (CDC): English | Dari | Pashto

Key times to physically distance PSA (CDC): English | Dari | Pashto

Chickenpox

Chickenpox vaccine fact sheet (Immunization Action Coalition): English | Dari | Pashto

Report your chickenpox symptoms (CDC): English | Dari | Pashto

Dental Health

Take care of your teeth activity book (CDC): English | Dari | Pashto

Handwashing

Wash Your Hands (CDC): English | Dari | Pashto | Urdu

"Do Not Drink" warning to post at handwashing stations (CDC): English/Dari/Pashto

Use for washing your hands (CDC): English | Dari | Pashto

Wash You Hands poster (CDC): English | Dari | Pashto

Hepatitis

Hepatitis A - General Fact Sheet (CDC): English | Dari | Pashto

Hepatitis B and a Healthy Baby presentation (CDC): English | Dari | Pashto

Hypothermia and Frostbite

Avoid, spot, treat hypothermia and frostbite (CDC): English | Dari | Pashto

Influenza

How to stop the flu (CDC): English | Dari | Pashto

Symptoms of the flu (CDC): English | Dari | Pashto

Lice

Check for head lice fact sheet (CDC): English | Dari | Pashto

Masking

Please wear a mask (CDC): English | Dari | Pashto | Urdu

How to clean and dry your cloth mask (CDC): English | Dari | Pashto | Urdu

How to wear a mask PSA (CDC): English | Dari | Pashto

Key times to wear a mask PSA (CDC): English | Dari | Pashto

Maternity

Breastfeeding is Important (MO Dept. of Health & Senior Services): English | Farsi

Breastfeeding Plan (MO DHSS): English | Farsi

Engorgement (MO DHSS): English | Farsi

Hand Expression (MO DHSS): English | Farsi

How to clean infant feeding items (CDC): English | Dari | Pashto

How to Know Your Baby is Getting Enough (MO DHSS): English | Farsi 

How to prepare infant formula (CDC): English | Dari | Pashto

Proper Storage and Handling of Breast Milk (MO DHSS): English | Farsi

Sore Nipples (MO DHSS): English | Farsi

Urgent maternal warning signs (CDC): English | Dari | Pashto

Measles and Rubella

Report your symptoms of measles (CDC): English | Dari | Pashto

MMR vaccine fact sheet (Immunization Action Coalition): English | Dari | Pashto

Mosquitoes and Ticks

Mosquito bites can make you sick fact sheet (CDC): English | Dari | Pashto | Urdu

Mosquito bites are bad activity book (CDC): English | Dari | Pashto | Urdu

Mosquito bites are bad coloring book (CDC): English | Dari | Pashto | Urdu

Tick bites can make you sick fact sheet (CDC): English | Dari | Pashto | Urdu

Mumps

Mumps symptoms fact sheet (CDC): English | Dari | Pashto | Urdu

Polio

Report your polio symptoms, multilingual (CDC): English / Dari / Pashto

Polio vaccine fact sheet (Immunization Action Coalition): English | Dari | Pashto

Respiratory Diseases

How to stop the spread of germs (CDC): English | Dari | Pashto

Prevent Respiratory Syncytial Virus Infection (RSV) fact sheet (CDC): English | Dari | Pashto

Scabies

How to examine for scabies flyer (CDC): English | Dari | Pashto

Scabies fact sheet (CDC): English | Dari | Pashto

Tuberculosis

TB fact sheet (CDC): English | Pashto | Dari

Q&A Tuberculosis (CDC): English | Pashto | Dari

SNTC "You Can Prevent Tuberculosis: A Patient Educational Handout" (SNTC): Dari/English | Pashto/English

Additional Health-Related Resources

Benefits for Afghan Humanitarian Parolees – An online document by the Office of Refugee Resettlement that provides guidance for Afghans looking to apply for benefits as well as for what they will be eligible

Health Coverage Options for Afghan Evacuees – An online document by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services describing eligibility and services for Afghan evacuees

U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) - Afghan Parolee Vaccination Status – A vaccination attestation website by the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) where Afghan parolees can report their vaccinations and get information on required vaccinations and screenings (Dari and Pashto translations available)

USCIS - Information for Afghans – A webpage by the USCIS with translated resources for Afghans, including information sheets for Afghan parolees departing safe havens, immigration status, legal services, and vaccination status attestation

Want to find out how you can help Afghan arrivals? See the Department of Children and Families website to learn more.

Questions about Refugee Health? Contact Us!
Phone: 608-261-6319 ǀ Fax: 608-266-0049

Last Revised: April 6, 2022