[Open Access] Neglect of low-income migrants in covid-19 response

Neglect of low-income migrants in covid-19 response

A South Asian perspective on the failures of global and national public health policies

THE BMJ OPINION | 29 MAY 2020

“Given the regional implications, countries in South Asia must “act in unison” to conceive public health for the entire region. [6] The Covid-19 Emergency Fund created by South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC) is a promising step. However, an effective response requires greater regional cooperation, facilitating safe passage, and strong political commitment to universalise health and social protection, continue primary care and guarantee socio-economic rights. Ignoring poor migrants and those in informal economies nationally will not only erode lives but also impede national economic and social recovery from covid-19.”

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Anuj Kapilashrami is senior lecturer in gender and global health policy at the Centre for Global Public Health, Queen Mary University of London, London, UK

Anns Issac is technical officer at the Asia Pacific Observatory on Health Systems and Policies, New Delhi, India

Jeevan Sharma is senior lecturer in South Asia and International development at the School of Social and Political Science, University of Edinburgh, Edinburgh, UK

Kolitha Wickramage is the Migration Health Research and Epidemiology coordinator at the Migration Health Division, the UN Migration Agency, Manila, Philippines

Ekatha Ann John is researcher at Centre for Global Public Health, Queen Mary University of London, London, UK

Divya Ravindranath is postdoctoral fellow at the Indian Institute of Human Settlements, Bengaluru, India 

Roomi Aziz is technical lead in health data and communication at Pathway to Impact, Punjab, Pakistan 

Patrick Duigan is the regional migration health advisor, Regional Office for Asia and the Pacific, International Organization for Migration, Bangkok, Thailand

on behalf of the Migration Health South Asia network

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