Communicable Disease Service

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Refugee Health

Refugees are people fleeing persecution in their homelands who have been designated for resettlement elsewhere in the world. The U.S. Department of Homeland Security grants a person overseas refugee or asylee status following a criminal check and a mental and physical health screening that includes screening for diseases of public health concern.

About 750 to 900 refugees are resettled in New Jersey each year.

The Refugee Program’s major goal is to ensure newly resettled refugees and asylees receive a health assessment as soon as possible after arrival, within 90 days. This is designed to protect the public’s health against communicable diseases, and identify and treat health conditions that could impede the refugee’s successful resettlement.

The Refugee Program works with the Voluntary Refugee Resettlement agencies that sponsor arrivals, the New Jersey Department of Human Services, local health departments, and private health care providers to ensure refugees have access to health care and receive a comprehensive health screening that meets their language and cultural needs.

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