Migrants and refugees face higher risk of developing ill-health, says UN report on displaced people in Europe

UNICEF/UN022002/Georgiev Syrian refugees walk through the streets of Athens close to the apartment they have been given to use while awaiting a solution to their request for asylum. (file)

This article is brought to you in association with the United Nations.

European authorities are “struggling” to meet the needs of irregular migrants and refugees who are wrongly accused of spreading sickness among host communities, the World Health Organization (WHO) said on Monday, at the launch of its first report on the subject.

“The refugees and migrants that come to Europe, they do not bring any exotic diseases with them – any exotic communicable diseases,” said Dr. Zsuzsanna Jakab, WHO Regional Director for Europe.

“The diseases that they might have there are all well-established diseases in Europe, and also we have very good prevention and control programmes for these diseases,” she added. “This applies both for tuberculosis but also HIV/AIDS.”

Among other myths exposed as false by the report was the belief that more vulnerable people were arriving in Europe than was the case.

“International migrants make up about 10 per cent of the population in the European Region, that is about 90 million,” Dr. Jakab noted. “Out of this, less than 7.4 per cent are refugees and in some of the European countries, citizens estimate that there are three or four times more migrants than there are in reality.”

Based on a review of more than 13,000 documents on the health of refugees and migrants in the WHO European Region – one of six regions globally – the organization’s report provides a snapshot of their situation, at a time of rising global migration.

It shows that they are at higher risk of developing ill-health than host populations.

Citing UN migration agency (IOM) data indicating that more than 50,000 migrants and refugees have died in the Mediterranean area since the year 2000, the WHO report notes how women, young men, adolescents and unaccompanied minors are often “victims of deceptive recruitment and modern slavery”.

This has a grave physical and mental impact on the victims, it warns, adding that these this has “health repercussions” on their families and communities.

10 Things to Know About the Health of Refugees and Migrants.

By way of an example, although displaced populations are at lower risk for all forms of cancer, except cervical cancer, the disease is “more likely to be diagnosed at an advanced stage”, the report says, putting them at greater risk of “considerably worse health outcomes than those of the host population”.

Diabetes also affects refugees and migrants more than host communities, the WHO report continues, with “higher incidence, prevalence and mortality rate”, especially among women.

Other illnesses, such as depression and anxiety, tend to affect refugees and migrants more than European host communities, the WHO study continues, noting that this applies particularly to unaccompanied minors, who also suffer higher rates of post-traumatic stress disorder.

Migrants and refugees are also at a greater risk from developing infectious diseases because of lack of access to health care, interrupted care and poor living conditions while on the move, according to the WHO report.

“I don’t think that in most of the countries the illegal migrants have access to the health system services,” Dr. Jakab said. “So that is an area where we have to do substantial additional work and conviction of the countries, because, the best way to protect their own population and the refugees is to give them access.”

WHO’s European Region covers 53 countries and has a combined population of almost 920 million people; the proportion of international migrants varies from more than 50 per cent in Andorra and Monaco, to less than two per cent in Albania, Bosnia Herzegovina, Poland and Romania.

Providing rights-based healthcare systems that are sensitive to the needs of migrants and refugees is included in the 2030 Agenda, which covers 17 Sustainable Development Goals, known as the ‘SDGs’ and targets including universal health coverage.

Of 40 European States that responded to a WHO survey on the progress they are making towards healthcare systems that take into account the needs of refugees and migrants, only one in two said that they had conducted at least one assessment of the needs of migrants and refugees.

“The illegal migrants are not ‘visible’ to the authorities, so to say,” Dr. Jakab said. “They are there in the country but formally and officially the countries are not aware that they are present in the country.”

Globally, there are an estimated 258 million migrants, according to the UN Department of Economic and Social Affairs.

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

the European Sting Milestones

Featured Stings

Can we feed everyone without unleashing disaster? Read on

These campaigners want to give a quarter of the UK back to nature

How to build a more resilient and inclusive global system

Stopping antimicrobial resistance would cost just USD 2 per person a year

Building social good – lessons from an Asian giant

This team of Saudi women designed an award-winning app to make the Hajj safer

Conflict prevention, mediation: among ‘most important tools’ to reduce human suffering, Guterres tells Security Council

Three ideas for leaders to be more successful in the 21st century

EU’s new sanctions on Russia into force “in the next few days”: strength, weakness or strategy?

The issue of mental health for modern young doctors

EU: Divided they stand on immigration and Trump hurricanes

Parliament supports plans to improve quality of tap water and cut plastic litter

Myanmar willing to repatriate ‘verified returnees’ from Bangladesh

A Sting Exclusive: “Climate change-the biggest global health threat of the 21st century, yet overlooked in climate negotiations?” IFMSA wonders from COP21 in Paris

Facilitating the access to finance and risk capital for SMEs and midcaps

From drought to floods in Somalia; displacement and hunger worsen, says UN

Why the internet is yesterday’s news in China’s digital leap forward

Brexit: PM May must hush Boris Johnson to unlock the negotiations

Canada has the most comprehensive and elaborate migration system, but some challenges remain

De Gucht: More gaffes with the talks on the EU-US free trade agreement

FROM THE FIELD: Balancing act for Philippines farmers

UN and Red Cross chiefs appeal for end to use of explosive weapons in cities

2019: An unpredictable, confrontational and financially ominous year

Africa is ‘on the rise’, says UN chief Guterres, urging collaboration for better future

EU budget: Commission proposes €1.26 billion to reinforce the European Solidarity Corps

Alarm over violent attacks on lawmakers, opposition in Malawi, ahead of elections

‘Two pack’ austerity package in force but with less vigor

Preventing and resolving conflicts must form ‘backbone’ of collective efforts – UN chief

The European Union and Central Asia: New opportunities for a stronger partnership

MEPs commend Ukraine‘s reform efforts and denounce Russian aggression

Mario Draghi quizzed for last time by Economic and Monetary Affairs Committee

A new European banking space is born this year

China in my eyes

Thursday’s Daily Brief: ambulance attack in Libya, #GlobalGoals defenders, human rights in Cambodia, Swine Fever

Advocate General ‘outlaws’ Data Retention Directive

Mali peace process in a ‘critical phase’, says head of UN Mission

This is why AI has a gender problem

EU Leaders’ meeting in Sofia: Completing a trusted Digital Single Market for the benefit of all

Financial services: Commission sets out its equivalence policy with non-EU countries

Macron defends the idea of European sovereignty

Constitutional Committee breakthrough offers ‘sign of hope’ for long-suffering Syrians

From drone swarms to modified E. Coli: say hello to a new wave of cyberattacks

Health privatisation: reviving Alma-Ata

Germany’s strong anti-bribery enforcement against individuals needs to be matched by comparably strong enforcement against companies

Security: better access to data for border control and migration management

Exchanges of medical students and the true understanding of global health issues

Brussels to point the finger to Washington for lack of commitment over TTIP

Why people with disabilities are your company’s untapped resource

Acute food insecurity ‘far too high’ UN agency warns, as 113 million go hungry

From inconvenience to opportunity: the importance of international medical exchanges

Migrant caravan: UN agency helping ‘exhausted’ people home

Millions of people eat octopus- here’s why we shouldn’t

New phenomena in the EU labour market

How and why Mercedes fakes the EU fuel consumption tests

How to build a digital infrastructure that benefits emerging economies

This Dutch company makes environmentally-friendly paint

Entrepreneurship and strategic planning: the enabler

‘Fire-fighting approach’ to humanitarian aid ‘not sustainable’: Deputy UN chief

3 ways blockchain can revolutionize global supply chains

Mexico: Helping refugees go into business, a ‘win-win situation’, says UNHCR’s Grandi

We’ll succeed together

Iran: UN rights chief ‘deeply disturbed’ by continuing executions of juvenile offenders

Facebook engineer working at the company’s HQ, Menlo Park, CA (Copyright: Facebook Inc., Source: Facebook Inc.’s website, newsroom)

Facebook goes under formal EU privacy scrutiny after latest massive data breach

DPRK reports ‘little progress’ since historic June 2018 summit with US

More Stings?

Trackbacks

  1. […] Migrants and refugees face higher risk of developing ill-health, says UN report on displaced people …  The European Sting […]

Speak your Mind Here

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s