The Migration Health Unit works to deliver and promote comprehensive, preventive and curative health programmes that are beneficial, accessible and equitable for migrants and mobile populations in the region, through a constant coordination with the Migration Health Division.
Bridging the needs of both migrants and governments in close collaboration with partners, we promote a public health approach to migrant and minority health and contribute to the physical, mental and social well-being of migrants, enabling them and host communities to achieve social and economic development.
We also assist the EU Member States to provide healthcare to migrants and refugees in line with the proposed EU Pact on Migration and Asylum and the Action Plan on the Integration of Third-Country Nationals. The Action Plan aims at supporting, developing, coordinating EU Member States activities and policies on pre-departure and pre-arrival measures, education, employment and vocational training, access to basic services, active participation and social inclusion.
In the region, IOM’s migration and health actions:
- Advocate for a migrant-inclusive health policy and legal framework;
- Monitor migrant health to strengthen knowledge on the health of migrants;
- Promote capacity-building for a more equitable access to comprehensive migrant-sensitive health systems;
- Develop partnerships and networks to advocate for policies that promote and protect the health of migrants and to strengthen coordination among key stakeholders.
IOM’s approach to migration health responds to the key priorities and actions outlined during the IOM/WHO Global Migration Health Conferences in Madrid and Colombo, in line with the World Health Assembly Resolutions, the 2030 SDG Agenda and the Global Compact for Safe, Orderly and Regular Migration, in particular the health proposal for the Global Compact for Migration.
In the region, we address migrants’ health needs throughout the migration cycle in collaboration with the EU Member States and institutions, the Directorate General for Health and Food Safety – DG SANTE, in particular.
The electronic Personal Health Record (e-PHR) was developed in 2016 to establish a more comprehensive approach to foster health provision for migrants arriving in Europe, and to facilitate follow-up and continuity of care. The product was requested by the European Commission - General Directorate for Health and Food Safety (EC-DG SANTE), in the context of large numbers of new arrivals to the region, challenging domestic health systems and demonstrating the need to expedite implementation of EU directives regarding cross-border care and data sharing. The e-PHR is a resource for Health Professionals aiding health assessments and medical follow ups for new migrants.
- Migration Health Programmes
The EQUI-HEALTH project (2013-2016) improved public health and increased the wellbeing of all by helping to provide appropriate healthcare to migrants, the Roma and other vulnerable groups entering and residing in the EU, including irregular migrants.
Re-Health supported EU Member States in improving healthcare provision for migrants and contributes to the integration of newly-arrived migrants and refugees in the EU Member States’ health systems.
IOM is working with the European Union and the World Health Organization (WHO) to improve the access to health care services for refugees and people displaced from Ukraine under the Temporary Protection Directive activated by the Council of the EU following the onset of the war in Ukraine on 24 February 2022.
- Health Digitalisation
The aim of the electronic Personal Health Record (e-PHR) and its platform is to enhance knowledge amongst stakeholders about refugees’ and migrants’ health needs; to ensure that migrant health assessment records are available at transit and destination countries; and to strengthen national and cross-border disease surveillance and response capacities.
- Capacity building
Training and capacity building on Migration and Health primarily refers to the training of health professionals, social workers, and immigration officers or other border officials with the aim of increasing awareness of migration health issues and supporting professionals in carrying out their tasks in a professional, efficient and ethical way for the benefit of migrants.
- Migration Health Research Portal
The site serves as a practical platform for connecting research experts/scholars, learning about migration health research initiatives globally, and improving evidence-based policy and practice.
Migrants are on the front lines of COVID-19 and are crucial to recovery. To help combat vaccination hesitancy, IOM missions in Croatia, Slovenia and Spain have compiled, with the support of the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (SDC), a collection of COVID-19 vaccination resources, available in Albanian, Arabic, Bambara, English, Farsi, French, Pulaar, Russian, Spanish, Urdu, Ukrainian and Wolof that highlight the benefits and impact of getting vaccinated.