Refugee to Researcher

In 1991, 6-year-old Jacob Atem’s South Sudanese village was attacked by Northern rebels. Atem and other surviving “Lost Boys” walked some 2,000 miles before reaching a refugee camp, suffering malnutrition, dehydration and injury. More than 10,000 children died en route.

Atem was later resettled in the US, where his desire to help refugees led him to public health. Now a postdoctoral fellow in the Center for Humanitarian Health, Atem’s experiences frame his research.

“I saw firsthand how factors … make it difficult to integrate refugees into the US health care system. … I want to be part of the solution,” Atem writes.

Hopkins Bloomberg Public Health Magazine

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