[Webinar recording] “Weaponizing Public Health To End Asylum in the U.S.”

On July 9th, 2020, the Department of Homeland Security and the Department of Justice proposed a new rule – “Security Bars and Processing” – that would give them expansive authority to deny asylum and block and deport asylum seekers in the name of public health.

This rule undermines and contradicts good public health principles and practice. 

During this webinar, you’ll learn about this new rule, its implications for public health and asylum in the United States, and how to take action against it via a panel of experts, hosted by the Program on Forced Migration and Health within the Heilbrunn Department of Population and Family Health, the Health and Human Rights Certificate, Human Rights First, the Center for Humanitarian Health within Johns Hopkins University, Physicians for Human Rights, and Global Response Management.

Panelists: Monette Zard, Program of Forced Migration and Health, Columbia University Eleanor Acer and Kennji Kizuka, Human Rights First Dr. Paul B. Spiegel, Center for Humanitarian Health, Johns Hopkins University Dr. Michele Heisler, Physicians for Human Rights Helen Perry, Global Response Management Learn more:

Symposium and launch of Health and Migration Collaborative Community at Maastricht University

Symposium on Health, Migration and Integration

26th November 2020

The symposium, a collaboration between the Maastricht Graduate School of Governance/UNU-MERIT (with the Maastricht Centre for Global Health and the Maastricht Centre for Citizenship, Migration and Development) and the Radboud University Network on Migrant Inclusion (RUNOMI) in Nijmegen, will highlight the complex intersections between migration, health and integration through discussions around both research and practise. The symposium will bring together academics, including students and early career researchers, health professionals, policymakers and representatives of civil society to discuss issues related to migrant health. The event will also mark the official launch of the Health and Migration Collaborative Community website, a growing resource portal that provides short analytical reviews and other support materials for academics, practitioners, policymakers, and other stakeholders interested in issues related to migration and health.

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Originally posted online at https://macimide.maastrichtuniversity.nl/1st-health-and-migration-collaborative-community-symposium/

On 26th November 2020, the 1st Symposium on Migration, Health and Integration will take place. The symposium, a collaboration between the Maastricht Graduate School of Governance/UNU-MERIT (with the Maastricht Centre for Global Health and the Maastricht Centre for Citizenship, Migration and Development) and the Radboud University Network on Migrant Inclusion (RUNOMI) in Nijmegen, will highlight the complex intersections between migration, health and integration through discussions around both research and practise. The symposium will bring together academics, including students and early career researchers, health professionals, policymakers and representatives of civil society to discuss issues related to migrant health. The event will also mark the official launch of the Health and Migration Collaborative Community website, a growing resource portal that provides short analytical reviews and other support materials for academics, practitioners, policymakers, and other stakeholders interested in issues related to migration and health.

Deadline for submission: 04/09/2020

To be presented on: 26/11/2020

We invite submissions that cover a range of migrant health-related topics (e.g. access to care, health promotion, noncommunicable and communicable diseases, mental health, climate change…). We invite reflection from practice as well as academic research (e.g. completed research, ongoing projects, conceptual and methodological challenges).

Please send your extended abstract (max. 700 words) as a Word file to e-mail: sarah.roder@maastrichtuniversity.nl. Please include 3-5 keywords, the names and titles of all the contributing authors, and the institution affiliation of all authors.

Abstracts will be reviewed by the symposium organisers, and the decision on abstracts will be communicated by the 20th September 2020.

The symposium will be hosted in the Maastricht Graduate School of Governance/UNU-MERIT in Maastricht. The event will be free of charge (registration is required) and catering will be provided. Please note that no financial support for travel or accommodation is available for participants or panellists. To register and for more information please contact sarah.roder@maastrichtuniversity.nl or call +31 43 388 4433.

Lancet Migration: Migration and Covid-19 Resources

Lancet Migration has developed a Covid-19 resource platform.

“People on the move, whether they are economic migrants or forcibly displaced persons such asylum seekers, refugees, and internally displaced persons, should be explicitly included in the responses to the coronavirus disease 2019 pandemic. This global public health emergency brings into focus, and may exacerbate, the barriers to healthcare these populations face. Many migrant & refugee populations live in conditions where physical distancing and recommended hygiene measures are particularly challenging. The Covid-19 pandemic reveals the extent of marginalisation migrant & refugee populations face.  We have developed a resource platform to encourage knowledge sharing across different  regions globally and to highlight the  need to include migrants and refugees in the Covid-19 response.”

Further information and the resource platform can be found here

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

COVID-19 Vaccine Development: Time to Consider SARS-CoV-2 Challenge Studies?

Schaefer, G.O and Tam, Clarence C. and Savulescu, Julian and Voo, Teck Chuan, COVID-19 Vaccine Development: Time to Consider SARS-CoV-2 Challenge Studies? (March 20, 2020). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3568981 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.3568981

Abstract

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.

Read the full paper here

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

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

Maysoon Dahab1, Kevin van Zandvoort2, Stefan Flasche2, Abdihamid Warsame2, Paul B. Spiegel3, Ronald J Waldman4 5, Francesco Checchi2 *

1  Conflict & Health Research Group, King’s College London, London, UK

2 Department of Infectious Disease Epidemiology, Faculty of Epidemiology and Population Health, London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, London, UK

3 Centre for Humanitarian Health, Johns Hopkins University Bloomberg School of Public Health, Baltimore, MD, USA

4 Department of Global Health, Milken Institute School of Public Health, George Washington University, Washington, DC, USA

5 Doctors of the World USA, New York, NY, USA

* Corresponding author: Francesco.checchi@lshtm.ac.uk

Background

“While modelling predictions1 suggest that uncontrolled or even partially mitigated COVID-19 epidemics in high-income countries could lead to substantial excess mortality, the virus’ impact on people living in low-income settings or affected by humanitarian crises could potentially be even more severe. Three mechanisms could determine this: (i) higher transmissibility due to larger household sizes2, intense social mixing3 between the young and elderly4, overcrowding in urban slums and displaced people’s camps, inadequate water and sanitation, and specific cultural and faith practices such as mass prayer gatherings, large weddings and funerals during which super-spreading events might propagate transmission disproportionately5; (ii) higher infection-to-case ratios and progression to severe disease due to the virus’ interaction with highly prevalent co-morbidities, including non-communicable diseases (NCDs; prevalence of hypertension and diabetes is often higher in low- than high-income settings, with a far lower treatment coverage6), undernutrition, tuberculosis7 and HIV; and (iii) higher case-fatality due to a dire lack of intensive care capacity, especially outside large cities. Moreover, extreme pressure on curative health services could result in indirect impacts resulting from disrupted care for health problems other than COVID-19.8 While these risk factors could be counterbalanced by younger age distributions and hot temperatures, on balance we believe that, given current evidence and plausible reasoning, drastic action is required immediately to protect the world’s most fragile populations from this unfolding threat.”

Read the full paper here

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

COMMENT | Lancet Infectious Diseases | VOLUME 20, ISSUE 6, P645-646, JUNE 01, 202

Targeting COVID-19 interventions towards migrants in humanitarian settings

Published:April 21, 2020DOI: https://doi.org/10.1016/S1473-3099(20)30292-9

“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.1 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.”

Read more here.

Risk behind bars: Coronavirus and immigration detention

Risk behind bars: Coronavirus and immigration detention

BY RANIT MISHORI

“….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.”

Read the full article here

Migration Health Evidence Portal for COVID-19

This evidence portal is a repository of research publications and high-yield evidence briefs on COVID-19 and its intersection with migration health.

The scientific literature and knowledge base on the epidemic rapidly expand daily. Tremendous efforts are being made by the global community of clinicians, researchers and journal editors to advance scientific evidence to guide policy and decision making at the field level. However, there is a need to build evidence platforms to share and distill key findings emergent from this growing body of scientific literature that is relevant to migration, health, and human mobility to ultimately assist evidence-informed decision making from a migration lens.

The portal contains:

Research Publications on COVID-19 and Migration Health

This section reflects the output of the publication mapping exercise involving the quantitative assessment of a set of published scientific articles (i.e., bibliometric analysis) on COVID-19 with reference to migrants, migration, and human mobility. Bibliometric analysis provides an important snapshot of a specific field of interest/domain. The baseline information from bibliometric analysis helps identify research gaps that future studies can investigate. The bibliometric analysis conducted by IOM and MHADRI on international migration and health is one example.

Key messages

  • As of 30 March 2020, the publications related to COVID-19 totaled 21,779 (no restriction set in terms of language and subject area). From this, a total of 43 publications were relevant to migration health and human mobility.
  • Most of the studies investigated the cases and disease transmission dynamics of COVID-19 in the context of national and international population movement, with most studies undertaken in China. The distribution of research to date indicates the role of travel and migration in the importation of the virus.
  • Research on the epidemiology of the disease among migrant groups such as migrant workers, internally displaced persons (IDPs), refugees and asylum seekers is lacking. Evidence with attribution to migrant groups within clinical datasets are seldom reported.
  • Despite multiple studies from high-income countries (HICs) using mathematical modelling to predict spread, and model social distancing, border closures and impacts on health care system capacities, there were only a few studies that model outbreak in low-to-middle-income countries (LMICs) contexts. None hitherto have focused on camps and camp-like situations.
  • There is a real need to strengthen the current knowledge base on the epidemiology and social determinants of COVID-19 and examine health-related outcomes in specific migrant groups, especially migrant workers.
  • Investigations on COVID-19 and migration health should not be limited to the role of movement/mobility in the dynamic importation of cases in a pandemic; a more inclusive research strategy that integrates the relevant interests of migrant populations should be considered.
  • Advocating for the right to health of migrants and migrant inclusion within the global, regional, national and sub-national pandemic preparedness and response plans is of critical importance.
  • The most productive authors and institutions come from Hong Kong, whose geographical proximity to and socio-economic ties with China were likely contributing factors in their early contributions to the field.

Network map of common keywords

The network map below shows an overview of the common keywords that appear in the title, abstract, and keywords of the relevant publications retrieved on the topic of COVID-19 and migration health. Network maps of keywords reveal key topics in a research area or domain as well as the relationship (co-occurrence) between common keywords. It is a relative indicator of important research areas that are drawing attention in the field. 

  • The large circles in the figure represent the most frequently occurring author keywords in the research publications (N=43) such as ‘pneumonia’ (n=26), ‘epidemic’ (n=22), ‘travel’ (n=19), ‘quarantine’ (n=18), ‘outbreak’ (n=15), and ‘disease transmission’ (n=14). 
  • The lines connecting the circles represent the co-occurring keywords. The distance between two keywords approximates how strongly the words are related based on the number of their co-occurrences (i.e., the more publications in which two keywords co-occur, the stronger the relation between them). Thus, the strongly related words appear closer together on the map. 
  • Each distinct color represents a cluster of keywords that are strongly related to each other. In the figure, ‘pneumonia’, ‘travel’, and ‘disease transmission’ are strongly related to ‘virology’, ‘animals’, ‘nonhuman’, ‘zoonosis’, ‘fever’, ‘genetics’, and ‘pandemic’ (red cluster). The keyword ‘epidemic’ is strongly related to ‘outbreak’, ‘quarantine’, ‘mass screening’, ‘air travel’, ‘travel medicine’, ‘global health’, ‘infection control’, and ‘risk assessment’ – these keywords are shown to be closer together forming the green cluster. 
  • These topics on COVID-19 and migration health can be classified into the following thematic areas: disease epidemiology (i.e., travel, disease transmission, virology, animals, nonhuman, zoonosis, genetics, pandemic); clinical management (i.e., pneumonia and fever); and public health intervention (i.e., quarantine, control, etc.).

Note: See the full paper for the Methodology and Limitations of this analysis.

4th MHADRI newsletter

The 4th MHADRI newsletter is now online!

Over the past year, MHADRI has had the opportunity to collaborate with a range of partners and look forward to what 2020 will bring!

Key highlights from 2019 include:

– Early career researcher workshops in Nepal and South Africa
– Bibliometric training workshop in Manila
– Launch of the IOM-MHADRI-BMJ Series on Migration and Health
– Contribution to the World Migration Report of a chapter on Migration and Health
– Workshop on migration, gender and health in Southern Africa

We look forward to working with you all over the coming year!

Best wishes from
the MHADRI Steering Committee

Global mapping of actors, agencies and networks providing training and capacity building programmes in migration and health

In partnership with IOM and the African Centre for Migration & Society (ACMS) at Wits University, MHADRI is undertaking a global mapping of actors, agencies and networks engaged in delivering training and capacity building/developing programmes in the field of migration and health. We are interested in initiatives being undertaken by all actors, including within civil society organisations, government departments, international organisations and academic institutions.

We invite anyone involved in developing or implementing any training or capacity building initiative in the field of migration and health to participate in a short online survey.

We are using the information collected to develop an open source database of available training and capacity building initiatives in the field of migration and health.

For further information, please contact Dr Rebecca Walker.