MIGRANT WORKERS FROM CENTRAL ASIAN COUNTRIES ON THE RUSSIAN LABOR MARKET: LIVING CONDITIONS AND SELF-PRESERVING BEHAVIOR
Alla IVANOVA, Sergey RYAZANTSEV
Alla Ivanova, D.Sc. (Econ.), Professor, Head of the Public Health Statistics Department of the Central Research Institute for Organization and Informatization of Health Care, Ministry of Health of the Russian Federation (Moscow, Russian Federation)
Sergey Ryazantsev, D.Sc. (Econ.), Corresponding Member of the Russian Academy of Sciences, Professor, Head of the Center of Social Demography of the Institute of Socio-Political Research of the Russian Academy of Sciences, Head of the Department of Demographic and Migration Policy of the Moscow State Institute of International Relations (MGIMO University) of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Russian Federation, Professor of the People’s Friendship University of Russia (Moscow, Russian Federation)
Work migrants fall into the category of vulnerable groups in the host society, a fact that is stipulated by a wide range of risk factors, on the one side, and obstacles in obtaining medical and social assistance, on the other. Thus, the danger of spreading public health hazards within migrant groups in host societies is growing, which may, according to certain experts, pose a problem to the society as a whole. The goal of this research is to determine the tenability of concerns regarding the substantial threat of spreading public health hazards among Central Asian work migrants in Russia. 498 work migrants, citizens of Central Asian states, were polled in Moscow. The social and demographic makeup of the respondents largely coincides with that of similar groups examined by other authors, which allows us to consider our results on the health status and self-preserving behavior representative of this population group in major Russian cities. The results attest to the fact that the main health risks, aside from professional ones, lie with the work migrants’ living conditions and the nature of their diet, which is characterized by a high intake of low-quality meat products, and a low intake of dairy products, fruits and vegetables. The nature of the diet is directly linked to provoking diabetes mellitus and cardiovascular disease, the risk of which is increased by family anamnesis and the lack of information on risk prevention. While the frequency of sexual contacts is relatively high, only under 50% of the respondents use any means of protection. Over one third of the men and over one half of the women with more than one sexual partner practice unprotected sex, which may lead to the spread of sexually transmitted diseases. Meanwhile, work migrants intend to seek medical aid in case of an illness, particularly if they possess Mandatory Medical Insurance, and, regardless of the motives that prioritize a visit to a medical institution over other methods of “fighting the disease,” these results are significant in improving the epidemiological situation in the regions that actively attract work migrants from Central Asia.
Keywords: work migrants, health, risk factors, self-preserving behavior, seeking medical aid.