6.3 Case Studies

Case 1 – Newly Arriving Family

Mr. Jemi is a 35 year old French and Lingala speaking man from the Democratic Republic of Congo who arrived in Canada 6 weeks ago. He is thrilled to have found a family doctor and today he has a 15-minute appointment with you.

He arrives with his 32 year old wife, who speaks Lingala and Swahili but not French, and his three children; 15 year old boy, 8 year old girl, 3 year old girl.

He arrives in high spirits, although a few minutes late, and he expects that the appointment he had booked will include his entire family and he is looking forward to full check-ups with all the bloods tests that Canada offers.

Question: What is needed to ensure this family receives quality health care?


Click on each professional to play his or her video:

Family Physician

Duration: 49 seconds

Read video transcript:

Hello, as a family physician who works with newly arriving refugees my interest is to ensure this family receives timely and high quality primary care.
The first thing that comes to mind is the need for communication support, such as interpreter, and to take time to make sure Mr Jemi and his wife have a basic understanding of how Canadian primary care teams and clinics function.
My principal role would be to address any urgent health issues and then to ensure the entire family receives evidence-based preventive care in terms of vaccinations, screening and counseling. A smile and gentle approach that communicates my commitment to the family can provide a good start to our relationship, a relationship which I know will develop over the next several preventive care visits.

Director of Global Health

Duration: 57 seconds

Read video transcript:

Hello, my name is Anne McCarthy and I am a professor of infectious and tropical medicine and the director of Global Health at the Faculty of Medicine, University of Ottawa.
My role in refugee care often revolves around providing support for the primary care team in terms of assessment and management of infectious and tropical diseases. In the context of this family, I am thinking it will be important to watch for fever as this family could be at risk for developing malaria over the next few months, and I would also be interested to ensure testing and treatment for latent tuberculosis, HIV, hepatitis B and C and intestinal parasites as part of the preventive approach for this family.

Clinical Pharmacist

Duration: 34 seconds

Read video transcript:

Hello, my name is Roland Halil and I am a clinical pharmacist and the co-director of the Panama Outreach Project.
Along with the supporting various vaccinations (Hepatitis B, varicella, MMR, DTPP), I will be interested to ensure this family has access to essential medications.
In Canada, prescription medication for newly arriving refugees is funded by the Interim Federal Health Program, but there are medications that may fall outside the usual list of prescription drugs for this family. For example, I would be ready to support access to medications for tropical parasites such as strongyloidiasis and schistosomiasis.

Social Worker

Duration: 44 seconds

Read video transcript:

Bonjour. My name is Antoine Roussel and I am a social worker at the Bruyere Family Health Team and we care for many newly arriving refugees.
My reaction to this scenario is how it highlights the importance of ensuring interpreters are found to support communication, in particular for Mrs Jemi who as a refugee woman without proficiency in English of French continues to be vulnerable member of this family. I am also thinking it will be important to work my settlement colleagues to ensure this family has provincial health cards, finds appropriate housing, and that the children are integrated as soon as possible into school.


Duration: 32 seconds

Read video transcript:

Hi, my name is Heather Thomson and I am a nurse practitioners who has completed several humanitarian missions with MSF.
The Congo is a place close to my heart and I empathize with the many challenges the Jemi family have faced up until this point.  I also appreciate the importance of building a trusting relationship in order to enable effective primary care for this family.  Many prevention and health counseling ideas spring to mind, but my focus will be on going slow, assessing the needs of the family and developing rapport that will enable educational counseling.