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Henry Ascher

Professor/ specialized physician

Henry Ascher
Professor/ specialized physician
+46 31 786 6841

Postal Address: Global hälsa och folkhälsa, Avdelningen för samhällsmedicin och folkhälsa, Box 463, 40530 Göteborg
Visiting Address: Medicinaregatan 18A , 41390 Göteborg

School of Public Health and Community Medicine at Institute of Medicine (More Information)
Box 463
405 30 Göteborg
Visiting Address: Medicinaregatan 18A , 413 90 Göteborg

About Henry Ascher

My work focuses on social differences in health and ill health and how to reduce it. A particular interest is migration and health, with a special focus on children and families. My work is about health promotion, both individually, by strengthening the resources of children and adults, and structurally by studying barriers and changing structures. Human rights, children's rights, the right to health and a focus on participation are other interests that also permeates my research.
In the research project Undocumented Children's Everyday Strategies, we have followed undocumented children over time to explore different strategies for dealing with an everyday life that is permanently dangerous and threatening. What strategies work? How do these relate to age and development? What are the threats to children's health, well-being and development and how can they change? How can adults around the children work to support them? Are there lessons learned from this group of children that are valid for other children who live with well-protected secrets, such as children who live with parents with abuse or who are mentally ill? The study uses qualitative methodology with a high degree of user influence in accordance with a Convention on the Rights of the Child. Schoolchildren (6-18 years) are included. The study has grants from the Allmänna Barnhuset Foundation and the Västra Götaland Region.
The research project Health and ill health of undocumented migrants is a survey study of undocumented migrants about self-perceived health, living conditions and access to human rights, which is carried out in Gothenburg, Stockholm and Malmö. As research on the situation of the undocumented migrants is very limited and usually consists of smaller interview-based studies, this study fills an important gap in order to increase the knowledge of a hidden group with potential major health needs. The study was designed in consultation with people who are or have been undocumented and is done with the support of the Swedish Research Council and the Västra Götaland Region.

Examples of other areas I work with are studies on undocumented women's experiences of maternal health care and childbirth, unaccompanied children and adolescents, age assessments, children with severe withdrawal syndrome, vulnerable groups' access to care and child abuse and neglect.

The project ‘Socio-economic determinants of health and physical growth of children from birth to five years in rural and urban areas of Hanoi’ is a completed research project in collaboration with Hanoi Medical University that followed two cohorts of pregnant women in Vietnam, one in urban environment and one in rural areas. Birth outcomes as well as children's growth and health were monitored over time and related to socio-economic factors and utilization of care. The project led to three doctoral dissertations. In the last dissertation, the prevalence and risk factors for obesity and obesity were examined in relation to socio-economic factors and urbanization.
My research work is conducted in collaboration with Angered Hospital’s Research Unit, where I also participate in the hospital's work on human rights as a tool for reducing socially inequality in health.
I am a professor of public health and an associate professor and consultant in paediatrics. I work clinically at the Child Refugee Team in Gothenburg, am vice chairman of the Swedish Pediatric Society’s Association for Global Child and Adolescent Health ( I have had assignments for e.g. the National Board of Health and Welfare, Swedish Agency for Health Technology Assessment and Assessment of Social Services (SBU), The Swedish Association of Local Authorities and Regions (SALAR) and the Discrimination Ombudsman. I am also a jury member of the Astrid Lindgren Memorial Award, the world's largest children's and youth literature award (

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Latest publications

A human rights-based approach improves the mental health care for migrants
E. Envall, G. Backman, Henry Ascher, B. Ramel, E. Ryman
Läkartidningen, Journal article 2020
Journal article

Medical, Ethical, and Legal Risks in Forensic Age Assessment Procedures in Current Swedish Asylum Processes Involving Unaccompanied Minors
Josephine T. V. Greenbrook, Henry Ascher
Program and proceedings of the Oxford Global Health & Bioethics International Conference in Oxford, United Kingdom, July 1-2, 2019 (oral presentations), Conference contribution 2019
Conference contribution

When Law and Medical Ethics Conflict: Physicians’ Perceptions of Their Roles as Gatekeepers in Satisfying Undocumented Migrants’ Right to Healthcare Access in Sweden
Josephine T. V. Greenbrook, Henry Ascher, Graeme T. Laurie
Programme of the 21st Nordic Conference for Professionals Working with Traumatised Refugees in Stavanger, Norway, June 6-7, 2019 (oral presentation and workshop), Conference contribution 2019
Conference contribution

Apropå! »Alla vet att man ska äta frukt och grönt och röra på sig«
Alexandra Krettek, Maria Magnusson, Moa Hallmyr, Henry Ascher
Läkartidningen, Editorial letter 2018
Editorial letter

Hälsans betydelse för nyanlända barn i skolan och skolans betydelse för nyanlända barns hälsa
Henry Ascher
Kästen-Ebeling G & Otterup T (red.). En bra början – Mottagande och introduktion av nyanlända elever. 2:a upplagan, Lund, Studentlitteratur, Chapter in book 2018
Chapter in book

Identification: age and identity assessment
Anders Hjern, Henry Ascher, Marianne Vervliet, Ilse Derluyn
Research Handbook on Child Migration. Bhabha J, Kanics J, Senovilla Hernández (ed.), Cheltenham, Edward Elgar Publishing , Chapter in book 2018
Chapter in book

Stöd till ensamkommande barn och unga – effekter, erfarenheter och upplevelser
Henry Ascher, Åsa Backlund, Christian Munthe, Pernilla Östlund, Göran Bertilsson et al.
Stockholm , SBU: Statens beredning för medicinsk och social utvärdering, Report 2018

Undocumented adult migrants in Sweden: mental health and associated factors
Lena Andersson, Anders Hjern, Henry Ascher
BMC Public Health, Journal article 2018
Journal article

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Showing 51 - 60 of 100


Hälso- och sjukvård för nyanlända barn
Anders Hjern, Henry Ascher
Barnmedicin. - 2012 - 4., [rev. och uppdaterade] uppl. / redaktörer: Katarina Hanséus, Hugo Lagercrantz, Lund, Studentlitteratur, Chapter in book 2012
Chapter in book

Vardagsmiljöns betydelse för hälsofrämjande arbete för flyktingbarn
Henry Ascher
Barn i Malmö - skilda livsvillkor ger ojämlik hälsa./Marie Köhler (red.), Malmö, Kommission för ett socialt hållbart Malmö, Chapter in book 2012
Chapter in book


Urban - rural disparities in antenatal care utilization: a study of two cohorts of pregnant women in Vietnam.
Toan K Tran, Chuc Tk Nguyen, Hinh D Nguyen, Bo Eriksson, Göran Bondjers et al.
BMC health services research, Journal article 2011
Journal article


Elis Envall, Sanna Vestin, Carin Björngren Cuadra, Henry Ascher, A Staaf et al.
Social Rapport 2010, Stockholm, Socialstyrelsen, Report chapter 2010
Report chapter

Asylsökande barn
Ulla Björnberg, Marita Eastmond, Henry Ascher
Socialpolitik, Magazine article 2010
Magazine article

Cross-country variation in stillbirth and neonatal mortality in offspring of Turkish migrants in northern Europe.
Sarah Fredsted Villadsen, Erika Sievers, Anne-Marie Nybo Andersen, Annett Arntzen, Marjorie Audard-Mariller et al.
European journal of public health, Journal article 2010
Journal article

Showing 51 - 60 of 100

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