Category: Publications

[Open Access] COVID-19 Vaccine Development: Time to Consider SARS-CoV-2 Challenge Studies?

While a human challenge study holds the prospect of accelerating the development of a vaccine for the coronavirus SARS-CoV-2, it may be opposed due to risks of harm to participants and researchers. Given the increasing number of human deaths and severe disruption to lives worldwide, we argue that a SARS-CoV-2 challenge study is ethically justifiable as its social value substantially outweighs the risks. Such a study should therefore be seriously considered as part of the global research response towards the COVID-19 pandemic. This paper contributes to the debate by addressing the misperception that a challenge study would lower scientific and ethical standards for vaccine research as well as other ethical concerns. Information that need to be disclosed to prospective participants to obtain their consent are set out.

[Open Access] Mapping population mental health concerns related to COVID-19 and the consequences of physical distancing: a Google trends analysis

Monitoring Google trends shows promise as a means of tracking changing public concerns. In weeks to come it may enable policy makers to assess the impact of their interventions including those aiming to limit negative consequences, such as government funded financial safety nets.

[open access] Covid-19: how a virus is turning the world upside down

Covid-19 has taught us that health is the basis of wealth, that global health is no longer defined by Western nations and must also be guided by Africa and Asia, and that international solidarity is an essential response and a superior approach to isolationism. We may emerge from this with a healthier respect for the environment and our common humanity. All citizens, governments, businesses, and organisations must heed these lessons. Covid-19 is the virus that is turning the world upside down. It will destroy the world as we know it; in the process we may learn to hold it together.

[Open Access] COVID-19 control in low-income settings and displaced populations: what can realistically be done?

“Whenever vaccines or improved therapeutics for COVID-19 become available, these must be allocated equitably to low-income and crisis-affected populations. Until then, it is imperative that low-resource countries and humanitarian responses plan and roll out evidence-based, long-term strategies to mitigate their COVID-19 epidemics, starting now. Approaches such as containment of importation are likely to have exhausted their potential in the immediate future; not all interventions are of equal value, and the opportunity costs of emphasising one over the other should be considered. The price of inaction may be high. Sub-optimal, inefficient control interventions could however be just as costly.”

[Open Access] Targeting COVID-19 interventions towards migrants in humanitarian settings

Millions of refugees and migrants reside in countries devastated by protracted conflicts with weakened health systems, and in countries where they are forced to live in substandard conditions in camps and compounds, and high-density slum settings. Although many such settings have yet to feel the full impact of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19), the pandemic is now having an unprecedented impact on mobility, in terms of border and migration management, as well as on the health, social, and economic situation of migrant populations globally. An urgent coordinated effort is now needed to align these populations with national and global COVID-19 responses.

Risk behind bars: Coronavirus and immigration detention

An outbreak in a facility threatens the outside community as well. An outbreak in a detention facility endangers all who come in contact with migrants, from immigration enforcement staff to workers at detention facilities, asylum officers, lawyers, and judges. All those people come in contact with the detainees and go home to their families at night.

[open access] Responding to the COVID-19 pandemic in complex humanitarian crises

Over 168 million people across 50 countries are estimated to need humanitarian assistance in 2020 [1]. Response to epidemics in complex humanitarian crises—such as the recent cholera epidemic in Yemen and the Ebola epidemic in the Democratic Republic of Congo—is a global health challenge of increasing scale [2]. The thousands of Yemeni and Congolese who have died in these years-long epidemics demonstrate the difficulty of combatting even well-known pathogens in humanitarian settings. The novel severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus-2 (SARS-CoV-2) may represent a still greater threat to those in complex humanitarian crises, which lack the infrastructure, support, and health systems to mount a comprehensive response. Poor governance, public distrust, and political violence may further undermine interventions in these settings.

Migration Health Evidence Portal for COVID-19

The IOM Migration Health Research Portal has established an interactive, open-source, searchable (and downloadable) repository of research publications on COVID-19 in relation to migrants, migration, and human mobility.

In partnership with MHADRI, migration health and COVID-19 related analysis, research, and commentaries will be analysed.

World Migration Report 2020

Cover Image of the Report

“The World Migration Report 2020 presents key data and information on migration as well as analysis of complex and emerging migration issues. Some of the topics covered in the report include human mobility and environmental change, migrants’ contributions in an era of disinformation, children and unsafe migration, migration and health, among others.”

Seasonal migration and health in India: Constraints for research and practice

Photos of the two authors

“Seasonal migrants in India engage in temporary informal work in work environments that actively flout labour laws on wages, work hours, and living conditions. The most significant impact of this is on the health outcomes of workers and their children. In this note, Varma and Ravindranath describe the roadblocks in conducting in-depth enquiries into migrants’ health status and healthcare-seeking behaviour, and designing and implementing health programmes conducive to their needs.”