Contemporary Migrant Health, 2nd Edition

A special issue of Tropical Medicine and Infectious Disease (ISSN 2414-6366). This special issue belongs to the section "Travel Medicine".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: 31 October 2024 | Viewed by 1171

Special Issue Editor

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Guest Editor
1. Realizing Health SDGs for Migrants, Displaced and Communities, Nairobi P.O. Box 3376-00200, Kenya
2. Institute for Global Health (IGH), University College London, London WC1E 6BT, UK
Interests: health and migration; global health; humanitarian aid
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Dear Colleagues,

In a world where approximately one in eight of the global population is a migrant, whether driven by migration factors or forcibly displaced by natural or man-made disasters, many of these individuals encounter formidable challenges in accessing basic healthcare services for a multitude of reasons. It is now widely acknowledged that achieving global and local health, development, and equity goals must involve ensuring the health rights and inclusion of refugees and migrants. This recognition is enshrined in the Political Declaration of the High-level Meeting on Universal Health Coverage titled "Universal Health coverage: expanding our ambition for health and well-being in a post-COVID world," issued by the UN General Assembly on 21 September 2023.

This declaration acknowledges that migrants, refugees, and internally displaced persons often encounter barriers that hinder their access to essential health services. These barriers include high costs, language and cultural differences, discrimination, administrative hurdles, and other impediments. Consequently, these examples underscore the need to expedite efforts at all levels to integrate public health considerations into migration policies. Furthermore, they emphasize the need to incorporate the health needs of migrants into national and local healthcare services, policies, and plans. These actions must be transparent, equitable, non-discriminatory, people-centered, race- and gender-responsive, disability-inclusive, and child-sensitive, thus leaving no one behind.

The COVID-19 pandemic has starkly illuminated the distinct health vulnerabilities of migrants and displaced persons during crises. Mobile populations are more susceptible to contracting the disease, developing severe symptoms, and succumbing to COVID-19 due to factors such as lower vaccination rates, limited access to care, and inequitable social protection safety nets. Ultimately, the pandemic has underscored the urgency of comprehending and addressing the public health consequences of marginalization and neglect experienced by migrant populations.

Against this backdrop, representatives of governments, international organizations, civil society, health professions, and academia convened in Rabat last June for the 3rd Global Consultation on the Health of Refugees and Migrants. They collectively recognized that the health of refugees, migrants, and host communities is an integral component of overall population health. Accelerating progress towards achieving Universal Health Coverage (UHC) and the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) necessitates concerted efforts at the local, regional, and global levels to reach the most affected individuals. True universality in UHC can only be achieved by including refugees and migrants. The Consultation also highlighted the need for high-quality research into health, migration, and displacement, as well as knowledge sharing to inform effective policies and actions.

In this context, the 1st WHO World Report on the Health of Refugees and Migrants published in 2022 emphasized the persistent global dearth of comprehensive, high-quality, and context-specific research into health and migration. This gap is particularly pronounced in areas relevant to policymaking and implementation, certain marginalized categories of migrants, and other disadvantaged subgroups of people on the move. It also extends to newly emerging migration and displacement dynamics, such as those associated with climate change; global crises, including health emergencies and conflicts; and large-scale movements of people. The readiness of health systems to respond to the needs of migrants and displaced individuals in such contexts is also a critical concern. Consequently, it is paramount to contribute to bridging these knowledge gaps and the disparities between research, policy, and practice in the realm of "health and migration."

We, therefore, invite your continued contributions to this Special Issue of the Journal, which is aimed at advancing understanding and knowledge regarding the current and future challenges involved in promoting this agenda of the health for refugees and migrants. We are particularly interested in papers that describe innovative practices, replicable models, new policy developments, cross-sector partnerships, and frameworks for cooperation across various domains, including human rights, sustainable development, public health, primary health care, Universal Health Coverage, financial aspects, disease control, climate change, social and political determinants of migrants' health, and research, insofar they relate to health and migration.

We welcome all contributions that enhance our comprehension of regional- and country-specific challenges and priorities, the circumstances of vulnerable migrant groups, disease-specific contexts and approaches, the role of migrant health in global processes such as the implementation of the Global Compacts for Refugees and Migrants, the advancement of UHC, commitments to address climate and environmental changes, and the battle against COVID-19 and potential future pandemics.

Your insights and research are invaluable in shaping a more inclusive and equitable healthcare landscape for refugees and migrants worldwide.

Dr. Davide T. Mosca
Guest Editor

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  • migrant Health
  • displaced people
  • climate change
  • UHC
  • integration
  • COVID-19
  • right to health

Published Papers (1 paper)

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14 pages, 295 KiB  
Antecedents and Consequences of Health Literacy among Refugees and Migrants during the First Two Years of COVID-19: A Scoping Review
by Kathleen Markey, Uchizi Msowoya, Nino Burduladze, Jon Salsberg, Anne MacFarlane, Liz Dore and Meghan Gilfoyle
Trop. Med. Infect. Dis. 2024, 9(5), 116; - 16 May 2024
Viewed by 730
Supporting refugee and migrant health has become a critical focus of healthcare policy. Developing and designing health literacy interventions that meet the needs of refugees and migrants is core to achieving this objective. This literature review sought to identify antecedents and consequences of [...] Read more.
Supporting refugee and migrant health has become a critical focus of healthcare policy. Developing and designing health literacy interventions that meet the needs of refugees and migrants is core to achieving this objective. This literature review sought to identify antecedents and consequences of health literacy among refugees and migrants during the first two years of the COVID-19 pandemic. We systematically searched nine electronic databases and numerous grey literature sources to identify studies published between December 2019 and March 2022. The antecedents (societal and environmental determinants, situational determinants, and personal determinants) and consequences of health literacy among refugees and migrants were mapped to a validated integrated health literacy model. Social and environmental determinants (n = 35) were the most reported antecedent influencing health literacy among refugees and migrants during the first two years of COVID-19. Language (n = 26) and culture (n = 16) were these determinants’ most frequently reported aspects. Situational determinants (n = 24) and personal determinants (n = 26) were less frequently identified factors influencing health literacy among refugees and migrants. Literacy (n = 11) and socioeconomic status (n = 8) were the most frequently reported aspects of personal determinants. Media use (n = 9) and family and peer influence (n = 7) were the most cited situational determinants reported. Refugees and migrants with higher levels of health literacy were more likely to use healthcare services, resulting in better health outcomes. The findings of this review reveal personal and situational factors that impacted health literacy among refugees and migrants during COVID-19 that require attention. However, the inadequate adaptation of health literacy interventions for linguistic and cultural diversity was a greater problem. Attention to this well-known aspect of public health preparedness and tailoring health literacy interventions to the needs of refugees and migrants during pandemics and other public health emergencies are paramount. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Contemporary Migrant Health, 2nd Edition)
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