More than 80 participants from Europe, North and South America, Africa and east Asia are attending the second annual World Health Organization (WHO) School on Refugee and Migrant Health this week. The event is aimed at promoting access to health services for refugees and migrants, and to support health systems in host countries in delivering that care.
The WHO has highlighted how the hazardous journey many migrants and refugees take to get to Europe, for example, puts those who come to the region at greater risk of health issues. Those who access services can face language and cultural barriers amongst other issues.
This year’s event will see participants exchange experiences and best practices for addressing some of the key challenges facing migrants including identification and treatment of specific disorders; access to broader health services such as immunisation and maternity care; and health interventions at first reception.
"It is important to emphasise that the issue of migration should not be seen as a short-term crisis, rather it is a complex, long-term global dynamic requiring structural adaptation of the national health systems of the receiving countries," says Dr Santino Severoni, Coordinator of the WHO Regional Office's Migration and Health programme.
The School continues until September 28.