Migrants' perspectives on participation in health promotion in The Netherlands

Migrants belong to the most vulnerable and exposed social strata in society and require special consideration in public health strategies. The overall health status of migrants is remarkably lower compared to the health status of the general population. The project Healthy Inclusion tries to contribute to the increase of the participation of migrants in health promotion interventions. This report covers the perspectives of members of ethnic minorities on health promotion. Interviewers from the same ethnic background conducted interviews about health-promoting activities in their own language with ten participants and ten non-participants. 

Reasons for participating or not participating in health-promoting activities

The participants came into contact with the health-promoting activity mainly through primary health care, the community centre of personal contacts. All participants viewed the health-promoting activity favourably, also because of the social contact it provides. The non-participants knew about the health-promoting activities, but could not give clear reasons why they didnt participate. Reasons that were mentioned were: lack of time, activities at times that do not fit and the opinion that they did not need the activities themselves. 

Suggestions for improvement

The respondents made proposals for improvement concerned with the content and form of health-promoting activities: easily accessible publicity strategies; separate health-promoting interventions for ethnic minorities where necessary, more group interventions that address multiple objectives, and interventions must take place nearby. Furthermore, account must be taken of language and religious or cultural customs, interventions must be easily affordable, and continuity must be satisfactorily arranged. 
=== About Healthy Inclusion: =

Empirical analysis II and III: Interviews with migrants with and without access
National report - The Netherlands


Healthy Inclusion is an international project carried out within the Public Health Programme 2003 - 2008 and co-funded by the European Commission, DG Health and Consumers, and Public Health (EAHC). The Dutch contribution is co-funded by ZonMw and the Directorate for Integration, Ministry of Housing, Spatial Planning and the Environment (Directoraat Inburgering en Integratie van het ministerie van VROM). The general objective of the project is to contribute to the increase of the participation of migrants in health promotion interventions. Healthy Inclusion tries to provide knowledge about the barriers to the access of migrants to health promotion interventions, as well as strategies to amend this circumstance.