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ABSTRACT: Vacations in the home country are important and positive events in the lives of immigrants, events that allow them to maintain contact with their culture, relatives and friends. However, vacations also carry certain health risks, though these risks can to some degree be prevented. Infectious disease is the greatest risk. Some children and adolescents also run the risk of female genital mutilation, forced marriage, and the risk og being left behind in the home country against their will. Among the notifiable diseases registered with the Norwegian Surveillance System for Communicable Diseases (MSIS), five stand out as having a higher incidence in people of foreign background than in people of Norwegian origin: malaria, hepatitis A, shigella infection, typhoid and paratyphoid fever. This higher incidence is partly the result of less use of pre-travel vaccines and malaria prophylaxis. Immigrants as a group are exposed to varied risks and should be given high priority in relation to vaccines and malaria prophylaxis for travel abroad. High priority should also be given to preventive health measures designed to reduce the risk of female genital mutilation and other violations against children and young people on visit to their country of origin.
Tidsskrift for Den norske legeforening 07/2002; 122(16):1568-72.