Health Promotion and Assistance for Migrants

The health promotion and assistance for migrants programme area of MHD caters its strategy and activities to the needs of migrant populations and the changing requirements of Member States to address the health of migrants. IOM projects in this area provide access to high-quality health services for migrants, and undertake substantial amount of operational research to promote evidence-based migration health policies. Technical support and national capacity-building efforts are included in this work area to support Member States in efforts to better manage migration-related health challenges. IOM Missions carry out various activities to assist governments in addressing migration- and mobility-related health challenges by strengthening the national health systems and ensuring that migrants have equitable access to health services. Migrant beneficiaries of this area of work include workers, undocumented migrants, trafficked persons, seasonal and otherwise temporary cross-border migrants and displaced populations, as well as labour migrants and migrant hosting communities. Partners include governments, NGOs, UN agencies including WHO, civil society groups and academic agencies, among others.

This programme area covers a range of health topics including emerging and re-emerging infectious diseases such as influenza, tuberculosis, malaria, and sexually transmitted infections including HIV as well as non-infectious health issues such as mental health and psychosocial response, reproductive health, and occupational health and safety. Programme responses also include a focus on non-health topics that are important in the context of migrants' health, such as gender, sexual and gender-based violence, climate change and human rights, among others. Over all, these activities facilitate the strengthening of migrant-friendly and migrant inclusive health systems which benefit migrants and the communities in which they live.

To ensure effective programmes, IOM builds strong affiliations with health ministries to create solid, sector-wide migrant-friendly health systems ultimately benefiting migrants and their host communities. Equally important is active and close engagement with migrant communities and civil society developing rights-based as well as language- and culture- appropriate policies and programmes. A relevant and increasing support to migrant beneficiaries through IOM programmes also comes from such global funding mechanisms as the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria (GFATM) and disease-specific funding programmes, such as the TB REACH, which brings much-needed resources for hard-to-reach populations such as migrants.

 

Selected projects:

  • EQUI-HEALTH

    The EQUI-HEALTH action aims to improve the access and appropriateness of health care services, health promotion and prevention to meet the needs of migrants, the Roma and other vulnerable ethnic minority groups, including irregular migrants residing in the European Union/European Economic Area.

  • PHAMESA – Partnership on Health and Mobility in East and Southern Africa

    The PHAMESA is a regional, comprehensive initiative that aims to assist governments and other migration and development stakeholders mitigate the health risks and vulnerabilities associated with the ever-increasing movement of vulnerable populations within and between East and Southern Africa.

    It offers a comprehensive public health approach and addresses health concerns that particularly affect migrants and mobile populations, primarily labour migrants and mobile workers, forced migrants, and irregular migrants, with focus on HIV prevention, treatment and care, and related conditions like TB and reproductive health throughout all phases of the migration process.

  • TB REACH

    The IOM TB REACH projects in Cambodia, Ethiopia, Ghana, Lao People’s Democratic Republic (Lao PDR), Myanmar, Nepal and Thailand aim to increase case detection of TB, detect the disease as early as possible, and ensure timely and complete treatment while maintaining high TB cure rates. TB REACH focuses on reaching people with limited or no access to TB services and looking for innovative ways to do this.