Medecins du Monde’s (MdM) 2019 Observatory Report Left Behind: The State of Universal Healthcare Coverage

On University HealthCare Coverage day, Medecins du Monde’s (MdM) 2019 Observatory Report Left Behind: The State of Universal Healthcare Coverage in Europe is a timely reminder of the dismal health situation faced by many vulnerable groups in 7 EU countries; a region with a clear commitment to human solidarity and vast wealth.

This report presents a unique insight into the state of Universal Healthcare Coverage (UHC) in Europe and highlights those who are left behind in European health systems. The report gathers data and testimonies collected from 29,359 people (97.5% migrants) attending Médecins du Monde/Doctors of the World (MdM) programmes in seven countries in Europe (Belgium, France, Germany, Luxembourg, Sweden, Switzerland, and United Kingdom) between January 2017 and December 2018.

Find the report here: https://www.doctorsoftheworld.org.uk/wp-content/uploads/2018/11/DOTW_2019_lowress_alt.pdf

IOM facilitates a technical training workshop for mapping research evidence in the field of migration health with a focus on Asian region.

Participant gathered at the “Workshop on Undertaking Bibliometric Analysis of Migration Health Research” on Nov 11-13, 2019. Photo: IOM/Ray Leyesa, 2019

Manila – IOM, the Migration & Health South Asia network and the Migration Health and Development Research Initiative (MHADRI) – a global network of researchers aimed to advance evidence-informed global migration health policies and practices, jointly organized a workshop on
undertaking bibliometric analysis of migration health research. Participants ranged from government, academia, clinical practice and research institutions, mainly from South and Southeast Asia.

“Bibliometric analysis is a useful research method as it lets you look at the patterns of research activities such a publication. In any global health field, it is extremely helpful to know where the work is being done, who is doing it, where the collaborations are happening, and what topics are being explored,” said Dr. Margaret Sampson, an international expert on bibliometric analysis who facilitated the workshop. Bibliometrics is an important first step in undertaking systematic review as it reveals patterns in publications in terms of authorship, geographical distribution, international research collaboration, and important themes discussed in the realm of migration and health.

The workshop also served as a venue among migration health actors and scholars to explore research questions on the research productivity relating to migration and health at the global, regional, sub-regional, and national levels as well as the research productivity relating to migration and health, focusing on specific themes such as migrant type, health outcomes (e.g., infectious diseases, non-communicable diseases, nutrition, mental health), among others.

Queen Mary University and the British Council, UK provided funding support to leading migration health scholars from Pakistan, India and Bangladesh as part of the Migration & Health South Asia network.

Expounding on the value of bibliometric research methods to map landscape of migration health research productivity, Associate Professor Charles Hui, Chairperson of MHADRI network and Chief of Infectious Diseases at Children’s Hospital Eastern Ontario, Ottawa, said that, “the workshop provided an excellent opportunity to build research capacity among Global South scholars, to enable them to go back and take deep dives to understand the research productivity in the field of migration health in their local areas and use that as evidence to move the field forward.”

The workshop was the first ever of this kind and IOM working with partner organizations and research networks seeks to facilitate these in other regions. In 2018, IOM and MHADRI network undertook a bibliometric analysis of global migration health research in peer-reviewed literature. The data showed major gaps in the research productivity especially in the ‘global south’. To read the full paper: Bibliometric analysis of global migration health research in peer-reviewed literature (2000–2016)

World Migration Report 2020

Cover Image of the Report

The International Organization for Migration has just published its 2020 World Migration Report. Read and download it here!

Chapter 7 of the report (“Migration and Health: Key issues, governance and current knowledge gaps”) was written by MHADRI steering committee members Jo Vearey (Vice Chair), Charles Hui (Chair) and Kolitha Wickramage (Secretariat).

“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.”

The Director General of the IOM addresses the goals of the report (and indeed of the IOM as an agency) in his foreword:

“As the United Nations’ migration agency, IOM has an obligation to demystify the complexity and diversity of human mobility. The report also acknowledges IOM’s continuing emphasis on fundamental rights and its mission to support those migrants who are most in need. This is particularly relevant in the areas in which IOM works to provide humanitarian assistance to people who have been displaced, including by weather events, conflict and persecution, or to those who have become stranded during crises.”

“Likewise, IOM remains committed to supporting Member States as they draw upon various forms of data, research and analysis during policy formulation and review processes. Indeed, this is reflected in IOM’s Constitution where the need for migration research is highlighted as an integral part of the Organization’s functions. The World Migration Report is a central component of this important function.

In this era of heightened interest and activity towards migration and migrants, we hope this 2020 edition of the World Migration Report becomes a key reference point for you. We hope it helps you to navigate this high-profile and dynamic topic during periods of uncertainty, and that it prompts reflection during quieter moments. But most importantly, we hope that you learn something new from the report that can inform your own work, be it in studies, research and analysis, policymaking, communication, or migration practice.”

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

Photos of the two authors

Divya Ravindranath and Divya Varma

Ideas for India for more evidence-based policy (Published March 2019)

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.

Read full article here

How Labour Conditions at Construction Sites are Leading to Higher Rates of Child Malnutrition

Baby in basket in construction site

Divya Ravindranath, Sep 27 2019

This commentary focuses on female workers in construction sites in India, and the impact of mothers’ work on the health and nutrition of their children. The sector provides good opportunities for work, but it also affects children’s health outcomes.

“A study of 131 migrant children living at various construction sites in Ahmedabad showed that half of the children surveyed were underweight (low weight for age), 41% were stunted (low height for age) and 22% were wasted (low weight for height). According to the National Family Health Survey (2015-’16), 35.5% of children under the age of five in the country are underweight, 38.4% are stunted, 21% are wasted.”

The article highlights various reasons why children are in this condition. Mothers do not have time or comfortable environments to breastfeed exclusively, and can also have difficulty finding the time to wean at the proper age. Mothers don’t have access to affordable, healthy food, so older children eat a lot of packaged food. The water in construction sites is often contaminated and not potable. Utilizing health services means taking time off work, which results in a loss of wages.

The author argues that NGO’s can be one way to help alleviate the situation, but they can be difficult to access as well. Dr Ravindranath’s main recommendation is that “it is also critical to view the role of parental work environment and migration as factors contributing to undernutrition. Policies and interventions designed to address undernutrition must consider these as key factors without which such children would continue to be denied a chance of improved nutrition and better health.”

Read full commentary here

Community-Based Global Mental Health for Refugees and other Migrants

Text: "International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health"

Deadline: May 1 2020

This call for papers seeks insights into questions such as:

  • What are the best approaches to deliver community-based services for migrants?
  • How can primary care collaborate with mental health specialists and community-based support systems?
  • What form of training programs and supervision are warranted?
  • How can trans-national influences on mental health, such as migration, conflict, and disasters, be integrated into community-based care? 

Keywords are global mental health, refugee and migrant health, community mental health, implementation science, trauma, primary health care, and health equity.

Health and Migration Workshop

Description of Workshop Themes

This workshop announcement includes a call for papers on migration and health; reach out to sarfraz@qau.edu.pk for more information!