Healthcare for the increasing number of migrants in Europe, and particularly of unaccompanied minors (UMs) seeking asylum, has become a major challenge. We aimed to describe the health issues of UMs managed in a dedicated pediatric consultation service in a care center in Paris.
All UMs attending a dedicated migrant medical consultation service in Robert Debré Hospital, Paris, France, were included in a single-center retrospective observational study from September 1, 2017, to September 30, 2018.
Out of the 107 UMs who were included, 87% had a health problem (n=93) and 52% had an infectious disease (n=56). The main infectious diagnoses were schistosomiasis (22%), latent tuberculosis (22%), intestinal parasitosis (16%), and chronic hepatitis B (8%). Posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and overweight were common (35% and 20%, respectively). The median age was 15 years old (IQR, 14-16), the male/female ratio was 95/12. Most of the children were from sub-Saharan Africa (n=67), 46% had crossed Libya (n=49) and, when compared to the other migration routes, faced an increasing risk of violence (69%, p=0.04), imprisonment (53%, p=0.03), and forced labor (48%, p=0.02). The median duration of the trip before reaching France was 6 months (IQR, 2-13), the median time to consultation was 2 months (0-5) and was not associated with an increased risk of health problems. A total of 43 UMs were lost to follow-up.
Health problems, particularly infectious diseases and PTSD, are common among UMs and should prompt an early medical consultation with psychiatric evaluation. Follow-up is problematic and could be improved by an on-line health book.

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