Covid-19 prevention knowledge, attitude, and practice challenges amongst Myanmar refugees and irregular migrants in Malaysia

Research output: Other Conference ContributionsPresentationPresentation

Abstract

Access to vaccination to all human beings, regardless of migrants and refugees’ status, is crucial in the fight against the COVID-19 pandemic because no one is safe until everyone is safe. This paper explored the COVID-19 prevention knowledge, attitude, and practice challenges amongst Myanmar refugees and irregular migrants in Malaysia. This study is a descriptive mixed-method case study. The author conducted an online survey with 174 participants and two focus group discussions through a convenient sampling method. Among them, (51.7%) were refugees, and (48%) were irregular migrant workers. Findings show that (90.9%) relied on community Facebook (page and chat) for COVID-19-related information; (84.1%) understood and found it useful for their protection; and (44.2%) aware of the vaccination program announcement. More than (70%) of participants perceived immunization as vital if they would be provided free without arrest; however, (95%) indicated not going out to take vaccination due to fear of arrests and deportations despite being considered necessary. Over one-third (21.2 %) of the participants do not receive masks and hand sanitizer support from their employer, and (50%) faced difficulty accessing healthcare services. Nearly half (39.7%) of the participants stay in an employer-provided dormitory, putting them at higher risk of infection due to difficulty maintaining social distancing and good hygiene. This study suggests that the Malaysian government should immediately end the arrest and raiding of irregular migrants and refugees, granting them amnesty and cooperating with their ethnic civil society for the entire immigrant population vaccination and effective measurement to halt COVID-19.
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusPublished - 12 Nov 2021
Event22nd Malaysian and Singapore Society of Australia (MASSA) Symposium - Online
Duration: 11 Nov 202112 Nov 2021

Symposium

Symposium22nd Malaysian and Singapore Society of Australia (MASSA) Symposium
Period11/11/2112/11/21

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