September 2019 saw the launch of the BMJ’s migration health series, developed in collaboration with the Migration Health and Development Research Network (MHADRI) and the United Nations Migration agency. It aims to provide insights and perspectives by migrants and refugee communities, government authorities, researchers, policy makers, practitioners, civil society and industry groups in the issues, challenges and complexities in advancing migration health at national, regional and global levels.
The best pieces for The BMJ series will be policy and analytical pieces that develop new areas of thinking, challenge existing norms – taking on a major issue and offering new insights with data to support them. Papers that will take stock of the current state of evidence, debates and controversies, underscore advances, highlight critical gaps in evidence generation, and the key interventions needed for knowledge generation for advancing migration health polices and practice.
Papers of up to 1,500 words in length will be considered. BMJ encourages submissions from a diverse range of stakeholders as indicated. Perspectives from Low to Middle-Income Countries, and papers written collaboratively between researchers and policy makers are encouraged. Submissions should follow BMJ style guidelines. The series is calibrated along the axis of three perspectives: from the ‘individual’ migrant, the ‘health system’; and, the ‘political’- navigating policy, politics and diplomacy.
Political dimension: exploring the politics, power and governance around migration and health. Migration discourses continue to be at the forefront of political and social movements, dominating headlines and election campaigns, yet who is driving the migration and health agenda? How is migration health been framed as a public health priority? Where does it sit within health agendas at national, regional and global levels?
Health Systems dimension: Despite the mantra to ‘leaving no one behind on the path to universal health coverage’ non-citizens and migrant groups are often left-behind or left-out of health system plans…rethinking health systems responses, health care financing, health coverage to migration, human mobility and health…
Individual dimension: What are the perspectives and experiences of migrants and refugees in navigating health care? What are underlying discourses of vulnerability and ‘othering’? What is the evidence on health impacts and what are strategies and sustainable solutions being explored?…
This is by no means an exhaustive list, but serves as reflection of the catalytic questions along each axis!
The BMJ series will provide an opportunity for multi-media submissions. Those working in the migration health field with the expertise and experience of the lessons (un)learnt distilled from dedicated practice of providing/enabling health care or conducting research with migrants and refugees can contribute multi-media content for the series. Of course, the lived experiences and stories of migrants and refugees are highly encouraged. The submissions may include for instance photo essays, audio-visual story board narratives, audio recorded commentaries/interviews and visual artwork.
A short analytical piece must accompany all submissions anchored to the 3 themes of the series. It is essential for any submitted work, the person/s who is the subject of the photo, audio or video recording to have provided requisite consent/assent for use and sharing of their images, stories, artwork and audio-video content. The final editorial decision of which multi-media submissions to be posted on the BMJ-series will of course be made by the BMJ through peer-review processors. Members should contact us for pre-submission inquiries.
MHADRI would like to hear from you on ideas for debates on migration health related topics, that may be organised as podcasts in 2020. Please submit your ideas for debate questions and experts you feel that you will like to engage in such debates. Please contact MHADRI for pre-submission inquiries.
We are excited to launch a new series in the British Medical Journal (BMJ) on Migration and Health, that involves a collaboration between MHADRI, IOM and the BMJ. The first articles are now online.
Submit your paper here.
Anti-immigrant rhetoric permeates today’s political discourse and soaks through much of society. In this highly politicized context, dominated by debates on immigration and border control, understanding and tackling what affects the health of migrants, their families, and communities is often overlooked and underserved. These gaps in understanding the relation between migration and health remain a challenge that policymakers, practitioners, civil society, and researchers must collectively embrace.
The BMJ’s migration health series aims to provide insights and perspectives by researchers, policymakers, practitioners, civil society, and migrants themselves on issues, challenges and complexities in advancing migration health. The series is being developed in collaboration with the UN’s Migration agency (IOM) and the Migration Health and Development Research Network (MHADRI) – a global network of migration health researchers.
Ursula Trummer, PhD (August 25, 2020)
This article examines the impact that COVID-19 has had on the movement of migrant healthcare workers throughout Europe. Dr. Trummer specifically focuses on how the shutting of borders (with a specific case study on the border between Romania and Austria) has restricted low-income 24-hour care providers who depend on free movement in order to complete their shifts:
“For the European Union, free movement of EU citizens within EU is an important element of the very idea of a united Europe. The right to freedom of movement is guaranteed by Article 21 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the EU (TFEU). It states that “Every citizen of the Union has the right to move and reside freely within the territory of the Member States.”This should especially serve the further development of a European economy, where a European work force can fulfil labor market demands where needed across national borders.
The COVID-19 pandemic changed that. All of a sudden, the European Union got fragmented again into 28 national states each with their respective responses to the pandemic. National public health policies demanded the closure of national borders and overruled the freedom of movement. As health issues of EU member states are subject to national regulations, countries established different policies of border control and regulations on who is allowed to travel under which circumstances, and how matters of quarantine are handled. National borders were seen as the most important checkpoints for controlling the spread of COVID-19.
Ironically, this has a tremendous negative consequence especially for the health care sector in rich EU countries which depend on migrant health care workers. The closure of EU-internal borders furthermore revealed the relevance of a borderless EU for another important health issue: care for the elderly. Countries like Austria are characterized by an ageing population and consequently elder care, either in nursing homes or at home, has become a major challenge.”
Austria depends heavily on care providers from Romania, and COVID-19 has impacted their ability to travel immensely. Read the rest of the article for more detail.
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 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.
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: firstname.lastname@example.org. 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 email@example.com or call +31 43 388 4433.
“To strengthen the current knowledge base on COVID-19 and migration health, the scientific and research community should consider examining specific health-related outcomes in specific migrant groups as well as other relevant variables that can impact on migrants (i.e. structure and process measures). 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 integrating the relevant interests of migrant populations is suggested.”
Read the full paper here
A South Asian perspective on the failures of global and national public health policies
“Given the regional implications, countries in South Asia must “act in unison” to conceive public health for the entire region.  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.”
Read the full article here
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
Dominik Zenner and Kolitha Wickramage
“An inclusive approach to epidemic control requires detailed knowledge and information about all relevant population groups, including their demography, their cultural-linguistic and socio-economic needs and of course, their health and illness, including COVID-19. The benefits of ensuring that public health messages can be understood and help appropriately should be obvious for any public health campaign and are vital if COVID-19 is to be successfully controlled. It is also critical to understand potential benefits and costs of public health measures to all population groups, and to avoid inadvertently aggravating vulnerabilities, such as deterrence of health service access through police-enforced social distancing measures or separation of migrants from family and social support networks when being stranded due to border closures.
In many countries, rapidly applied and crude public health measures for COVID-19 are increasingly being fine-tuned in renewed efforts of deconfinement of populations. This phase will require detailed knowledge and information about the epidemic and active inclusion of all migrant population groups in healthcare and in epidemic control plans will not only be the right thing to do from a human rights perspective, but also vital to successful COVID-19 control going forward.”
Read the full article here
“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
CORRESPONDENCE | LANCET PSYCHIATRY | VOLUME 7, ISSUE 4, E20, APRIL 01, 2020
“Of the 150 million international migrant workers (IMWs) worldwide, 95% reside in the five WHO regions in which cases of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) have been confirmed. The absence of a coordinated response for IMWs highlights a key deficiency in public health planning.”
Read the full article here
CORRESPONDENCE | THE LANCET | VOLUME 395, ISSUE 10234, P1421-1422, MAY 02, 2020
“As the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic continues advancing globally, reporting of clinical outcomes and risk factors for intensive care unit admission and mortality are emerging. Early Chinese and Italian reports associated increasing age, male sex, smoking, and cardiometabolic comorbidity with adverse outcomes.1 Striking differences between Chinese and Italian mortality indicate ethnicity might affect disease outcome, but there is little to no data to support or refute this.”
Read the full article here