Research Centre for Migration, Ethnicity and Health (MESU) – MESU, University of Copenhagen

Research Centre for Migration, Ethnicity and Health (MESU)

Global Migration is giving rise to increasingly multi-ethnic societies worldwide. One of the consequences of this migration is the effect it has on the health and morbidity of immigrants and refugees. Immigrants and refugees often have disease patterns that differ from those of the majority population, and they often experience barriers in access to healthcare that are unlike those the majority population experience. This creates exceptional challenges for health services and health professionals.


The Danish Research Centre for Migration, Ethnicity and Health (MESU) both initiates and conducts its own research and contributes to the development of others' research in the field through professional guidance and advice.

In addition, the centre contributes to establishing professional networks for Danish and international researchers through regular research seminars and academic meetings, exchange of information on research initiatives and information about on-going activities in Denmark.

Research activities focus overall on: 1) Migrants' and ethnic minorities' health and disease patterns, and 2) The structure, function and efficacy of health services in relation to migrants and ethnic minorities.

Read more in the Research Section


Inaugural lecture by Marie Nørredam, Professor with special responsibilities within Migration and Ethnic Minority Health
Understanding and responding to migrant and ethnic minority health: a public health priority
Friday May 24 2019, 2pm-3pm, CSS room 1.1.18

New article from MESU researchers in the CAGE project (Coming of Age in Excile):
Diminishing social inequality between refugee children and their peers growing up in Denmark.
Christopher J. de Montgomery; Jørgen Holm Petersen; Signe Smith Jervelund. Journal of Ethnic and Migration Studies, 13.08.2018.

The words we use matter—why we shouldn’t use the term ”illegal migrant” 
Talking about migrants and migration requires careful choice of words.
Words have consequences, especially in situations where strong emotions as well as social and political conflicts are endemic. Raj Bhopal's rapid response in The BMJ in which he objected to the use of the phrase "illegal migrant" on the grounds that only actions, not persons, can be deemed "illegal", merits further reflection and dissection.

Comments to the proposed changes to the Danish Health Care Act
Department of Public Health at the Faculty of Health and Medical Sciences, University of Copenhagen has formaluted written comments to the proposed bill of self-payment of an interpreter in cases where the patient has been in Denmark for more than three years. You can read the comment here (in Danish only). 

New grant from Trygfonden to project about reproductive health
Assistant Professor Sarah Fredsted Villadsen and Professor Anne-Marie Nybo Andersen, has in collaboration with MESU received  4.719.112 kr. from Trygfonden, for the MAMAACT project that aims at creating a change in clinical practice by improving the communication between pregnant women and the midwives regarding the signs of pregnancy complications, enhancing the cultural competencies of the midwives and the health literacy of the women, and through that secure optimal reactions to complications from both the women, and from the healthcare system (see more here: 

Course improves immigrants´ knowledge of the healthcare system.
Research by MESU in collaboration with STF and Biostat shows that a 12-hour course on the Danish healthcare system embedded at part of the language school teaching improves immigrants' knowledge of the healthcare system, but not their satisfaction. The results are published in the article “Ignorance is not bliss: The effect of systematic information on immigrants' knowledge of and satisfaction with the Danish healthcare system” in Scandinavian Journal of Public Health, and are disseminated in articles in supplemented with policy responses to the findings. The articles from can be read here and here.