International Organization for Migration
20th April 2020
Under review

“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

[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


“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

[Open Access] National preparedness and response plans for COVID-19 and other diseases: Why migrants should be included

National preparedness and response plans for COVID-19 and other diseases: Why migrants should be included

Dominik Zenner and Kolitha Wickramage

Migration Data Portal | 14 May 2020

“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

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] The neglected health of international migrant workers in the COVID-19 epidemic


The neglected health of international migrant workers in the COVID-19 epidemic

“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

[Open ACcess] ethnicity and COVID-19: an urgent public health research priority

CORRESPONDENCE | THE LANCET | VOLUME 395, ISSUE 10234, P1421-1422, MAY 02, 2020

Ethnicity and COVID-19: an urgent public health research priority

“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.”

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[Open Access] Is ethnicity linked to incidence or outcomes of covid-19?

Is ethnicity linked to incidence or outcomes of Covid-19?

BMJ 2020; 369 doi: https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.m1548 (Published 20 April 2020)

“Clear evidence to confirm or rule out an association between ethnicity and outcome in covid-19 is important not only for the UK but also for other regions such as South Asia and Africa, where the pandemic is at an earlier stage. Efforts must be coordinated to collect an international data set that includes ethnicity. If an association is confirmed, further research will be needed to determine the causes.”

Read the full paper here