Influence of socio-economic factors on the mental health of vulnerable populations at risk in Kakuma refugee camp

Main Article Content

Aisha Zainab Harun
Angela Maiyo
Sum Tecla Jerotich


The refugee experience is characterized by exposure in one's country of origin to numerous traumatic incidents during migration and daily stressors after settlement in the camps as a result of natural disasters, wars and persecution on the basis of their race, religion, political beliefs and social identity, who cannot rely on their country of origin to protect them. Although numerous studies on deaths, illnesses and physical traumas resulting from wars and disasters have been conducted, there are scanty longitudinal studies on how psychosocial issues influence mental health of vulnerable populations at risk and the problem-specific interventions used to address mental ill health. The prevalence of mental illnesses among refugees keeps increasing in spite existing psychiatric treatment options used to resolve the particular concerns associated with mental health. The objective of the study was to determine the influence of socio-economic factors on the mental health of vulnerable populations at risk in Kakuma refugee camp, Turkana County, Kenya.


Download data is not yet available.

Article Details

How to Cite
Harun, A. Z., & Jerotich, S. T. (2023). Influence of socio-economic factors on the mental health of vulnerable populations at risk in Kakuma refugee camp. Nairobi Journal of Humanities and Social Sciences, 7(2).

How to Cite

Harun, A. Z., & Jerotich, S. T. (2023). Influence of socio-economic factors on the mental health of vulnerable populations at risk in Kakuma refugee camp. Nairobi Journal of Humanities and Social Sciences, 7(2).


Abou-Saleh, M., & Christodoulou, G. (2016). Mental health of refugees: Global perspectives. BJPsych. International, 13(4), 79-81. doi:10.1192/S2056474000001379

Ahearn, E. J. (2017, January 1). Honoring Ross Chambers. Romanic Review, 108(1–4), 67–68.

Bogic, M., Njoku, A., & Priebe, S. (2015, October 28). Long-term mental health of war-refugees: a systematic literature review. BMC International Health and Human Rights, 15(1).

Creswell, J. W. (2014). Research Design: Qualitative, Quantitative and Mixed Methods Approaches (4th ed.). Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage.

Crumlish, N., & O'Rourke, K. (2010). A systematic review of treatments for post-traumatic stress disorder among refugees and asylum-seekers. The Journal of nervous and mental disease, 198(4), 237-251.

Deng, L., Payne, M., & Hagley, E. (2prie004, September 16). Deng, Payne, and Hagley Reply: Physical Review Letters, 93(12).

Denzin, N. K. (1989, September). Re-reading the sociological imagination. The American Sociologist, 20(3), 278–282.

Ben Farhat, J., Blanchet, K., Juul Bjertrup, P., Veizis, A., Perrin, C., Coulborn, R. M., Mayaud, P., & Cohuet, S. (2018, March 13). Syrian refugees in Greece: experience with violence, mental health status, and access to information during the journey and while in Greece. BMC Medicine, 16(1).

Bogic, M., Njoku, A., & Priebe, S. (2015). Long-term mental health of war-refugees: a systematic literature review. BMC international health and human rights, 15(1), 1-41.

Fegert, J. M., Diehl, C., Leyendecker, B., Hahlweg, K., Prayon-Blum, V., & Scientific Advisory Council of the Federal Ministry of Family Affairs, Senior, Citizens, Women and Youth (2018). Psychosocial problems in traumatized refugee families: overview of risks and some recommendations for support services. Child and adolescent psychiatry and mental health, 12, 5.

Feyissa, I. F., Noh, Y., & Yoon, M. S. (2022). Post-Migration Life Adversity and Mental Health of Refugees and Asylum Seekers: The Mediating Role of Resilience between Perceived Discrimination, Socio-Economic Strains, Structural Strains, and Mental Health. Behavioral sciences (Basel, Switzerland), 12(7), 208.

Gøtzsche-Astrup, J. (2022). A Sociological Perspective on the Experience of Contention. Sociological Theory, 073527512210971.

Haaken, J. K., & O’Neill, M. (2014). Moving images: Psychoanalytically informed visual methods in documenting the lives of women migrants and asylum seekers. Journal of Health Psychology, 19(1), 79-89.

Hirani, S. A. A., & Wagner, J. (2022). Impact of COVID-19 on Women Who Are Refugees and Mothering: A Critical Ethnographic Study. Global qualitative nursing research, 9, 23333936221121335.

Horn, Rebecca (2010) A Study of the Emotional and Psychological Well-being of Refugees in Kakuma Refugee Camp, Kenya. International Journal of Migration, Health and Social Care, 5 (4). p. 20. ISSN 1747-9894

Hudson, C. G. (2005). Socioeconomic Status and Mental Illness: Tests of the Social Causation and Selection Hypotheses. American Journal of Orthopsychiatry, 75(1), 3–18.

Hynie M. (2018). The Social Determinants of Refugee Mental Health in the Post-Migration Context: A Critical Review. Canadian journal of psychiatry. Revue canadienne de psychiatrie, 63(5), 297–303.

IASC, HYPERLINK “” l “ref5” 00

KAVAKLI, M. (2020). Which One is More Detrimental for Humankind? Ostracism or Social Exclusion? Their Effects on Depression, Anxiety, Stress. Journal of Cognitive-Behavioral Psychotherapy and Research, 0, 1.

Maloney, C. A., Miller-Graff, L. E., Wentz, B., & Cummings, E. M. (2022). Evaluating the Role of Maternal and Paternal Trauma Exposure, Emotional Security, and Mental Health in Predicting Psychological Adjustment among Palestinian Adolescents. International journal of environmental research and public health, 19(15), 9288.

Mendola, D., & Pera, A. (2022). Vulnerability of refugees: Some reflections on definitions and measurement practices. International Migration, 60(5), 108-121.

Miller, K. E., & Rasmussen, A. (2017). The mental health of civilians displaced by armed conflict: an ecological model of refugee distress. Epidemiology and psychiatric sciences, 26(2), 129–138.

Mugenda, O.M, & Mugenda, A. (2012). Research Methods: Quantitative and Qualitative Approaches. Nairobi: Acts Press.

Northern Uganda, Sierra Leone and Mozambique. Canada: Rights & Democracy Publishers.

Oliver, M. D., Morrison, C., Kamal, F., Graham, J., & Dadar, M. (2022). Subjective cognitive decline is a better marker for future cognitive decline in females than in males. Alzheimer's research & therapy, 14(1), 197.

Oram S. (2019). Sexual violence and mental health. Epidemiology and psychiatric sciences, 28(6), 592–593.

Orzechowski, M., Wigand, M. E., Nowak, M., Becker, T., & Steger, F. (2021). Post-traumatic stress disorder, human rights and access to healthcare: an analysis of judgments of the European

Park, G., Ahn, C., & Kim, J. H. (2022). Nationwide population-based study of poisoning-induced out-of-hospital cardiac arrest in South Korea. BMJ open, 12(4), e060378.

Rajbangshi, P. R., Nambiars, D., & Srivastava, A. (2021). “We wish to have good medical care”: findings from a qualitative study on reproductive and maternal health of internally displaced women in India. Sexual and reproductive health matters, 29(2), 2059324.

Schick, M., Zumwald, A., Knöpfli, B., Nickerson, A., Bryant, R. A., Schnyder, U., ... & Morina, N. (2016). Challenging future, challenging past: the relationship of social integration and psychological impairment in traumatized refugees. European journal of psychotraumatology, 7(1), 28057.

Silove, D., Ventevogel, P., & Rees, S. (2017). The contemporary refugee crisis: an overview of mental health challenges. World psychiatry : official journal of the World Psychiatric Association (WPA), 16(2), 130–139.

Thomas, F. C., Coulombe, S., Girard, T. A., Hart, T. L., Doherty, S., Dass, G., Wickramage, K., Siriwardhana, C., Surenthirakumaran, R., & McShane, K. (2022, December). Displacement-related stressors in a Sri Lankan war-affected community: Identifying the impact of war exposure and ongoing stressors on trauma symptom severity. SSM - Mental Health, 2, 100129.

UNHCR (2013) UNHCRS Mental Health and Psychosocial Support for persons of concern. Geneva: United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees.

UNHCR Report in Kenya (2005)

United Nations. The Beijing platform for action (1995). Report of the Fourth World Conference on Women. New York: United Nations;

Wessells, Michael and Carlinda Monteiro (2000). “Healing Wounds of War in Angola: A Community-based Approach.” In D. Donald, A. Dawes and J. Louw (eds.), Addressing Childhood Adversity. Cape Town, South Africa: David Phillip.

Wessels M & Monteiro C (2004) Internally displaced Angolans: a child-focused, community-based intervention. In: KE Miller & LM Rasco (Eds) The Mental Health of Refugees: Ecological Approaches to Healing and Adaptation. Mahwah, N.J: Lawrence Erlbaoum.

WHO (2001) the World Health Report 2001, Mental Health: New Understanding, New Hope. Geneva: World Health Organization.

Wong, S. (2017, July 20). Simon Wong, MD. Obesity Surgery, 27(9), 2221–2221.