Migrant farmworkers suffer a host of health challenges arising out of their very arduous daily work and exposure to toxic pesticides, as well as a result of the extreme poverty in which they live. Unsafe and unsanitary housing also contributes to the overall health status of migrants and their families.
Lacking health insurance, many farmworker families simply do not have access to medical care for acute or chronic conditions. Farmworker children often do not have the ability to see a dentist and experience serious (sometimes life-threatening) health problems as a result.
A lifeline for migrant farmworkers in the area of health are community and migrant health clinics.
Signed into law on September 25, 1962, by President John F. Kennedy, the Migrant Health Act established the authorization for delivery of primary and supplemental health services to migrant farmworkers. The Migrant Health Program is currently funded under the Consolidated Health Care Act of 1996 and administered by the Office of Minority and Special Populations, Bureau of Primary Health Care, in the Health Resources and Services Administration, Department of Health and Human Services.