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BMJ Case Reports 2016; doi:10.1136/bcr-2016-216074
  • CASE REPORT

Ethiopian-Israeli community

  1. Jonah B Cohen
  1. Medical School for International Health, Ben-Gurion University of the Negev, Beer Sheva, Israel
  1. Correspondence to Jonah B Cohen, jonahbcohen{at}gmail.com
  • Accepted 18 August 2016
  • Published 2 September 2016

Summary

The Ethiopian-Jewish community in Israel is an immigrant population numbering 131 400 as of 2012. Many arrived from 1980 to 1992 by airborne operations coordinated by the Israeli government. Immigration was prompted by Israeli recognition of the community's Jewish citizenship eligibility status. This period in Israel's history saw the First Lebanon War, the First Intifada, the Gulf War and the beginning of Soviet Jewish immigration. The Ethiopian community faced difficult integration, cross-cultural misunderstandings and the development of chronic disease, due to lifestyle changes and differences in cultural beliefs. These factors significantly affect the community's health. Governmental and non-governmental organisations have sought to improve the quality of life for Ethiopian Israelis through empowerment and education. Enhancing societal integration, augmenting cross-cultural communication and understanding and instituting community-based health projects are essential in improving the health of this community. Successful healthcare intervention requires a biopsychosocial model of analysis and usage of a culturally appropriate context.

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