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

the European Sting Milestones

Featured Stings

How to build a more resilient and inclusive global system

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

Somalia: UN urges steps to ensure future elections not ‘marred’ by rights abuses seen in recent polls

A Sting Exclusive: EU Commission’s Vice President Šefčovič accentuates the importance of innovation to EU’s Energy Union

Eurozone stagnates after exporting its recession to trading partners

These 4 trends are shaping the future of your job

Rehn ready to sacrifice part of the real economy

JADE visits Lithuanian Junior Initiatives

Nigeria: Top UN officials say more support needed to ease humanitarian crisis and rebuild lives in conflict-ravaged north-east

UN’s Grandi slams ‘toxic language of politics’ aimed at refugees, migrants

Rohingya refugee shelters ‘washed away’ in Bangladesh monsoon rains: UN agency

Brexit: reciprocal visa-free access for EU and UK nationals

Migration crisis update: What are the chances of a fair deal at this EU Summit?

Trump enrages the Europeans and isolates the US in G7

Here’s how drone delivery will change the face of global logistics

Brexit: No deal without marginalizing the hard Tory Eurosceptic MPs

Britain, EU take edgy steps to unlock Brexit talks as the war of words rages

The mother of all fights about inflation, growth and banks

Why the West supports the yen’s devaluation and Japanese over-indebtedness

David Cameron’s formal letter/threat that officially opens pandora’s box for the UK

How we overhauled healthcare amid Venezuela’s crisis

Millions at risk if Syria’s war moves to last redoubt of Idlib, warns senior aid official

Dramatic funding shortages a ‘severe catastrophe’ for people of Gaza: UN Coordinator

UNESCO experts ready to assist reconstruction of iconic Notre Dame, following devastating blaze

Making technology work for 1.3 billion Indians

State of the Union 2017: Juncker’s optimism about EU growth and Brexit’s impact

UN rights experts call on Russia to release Ukrainian film-maker whose life is in ‘imminent danger’

UN chief urges peaceful, free and fair elections in Cameroon

Venezuela: ‘A worrying destabilizing factor in the region’, Bachelet tells Human Rights Council

Italy solves the enigma of growth with fiscal consolidation: The Banking Union

Eurozone: How can 200 banks find €400 billion?

EU Budget 2019: focus on the young, on migration and innovation

The MH17 tragedy to put a tombstone on Ukrainian civil war

As the Universal Declaration of Human Rights turns 70 – is it time for a new approach?

Does hosting a World Cup make economic sense?

Ambassador Zhang wishes from Brussels great success and prosperity for the China-EU relations in the Year of the Dog

How to build a paradise for women. A lesson from Iceland

Australia now has 25 million people. Will it choose to keep growing?

Earth already has a perfect recycling system. So why not use it?

Radioactive nuclear waste is a global threat. These scientists may have a new solution

Eurozone: Even good statistics mean deeper recession

Is Eurozone preparing to abandon austerity and stagnation?

How revealing the cost of coal makes us all better off

At last some rules on banks

“The Arctic climate matters: to what degree?”, a Sting Exclusive co-authored by UN Environment’s Jan Dusik and Slava Fetisov

‘Open, cordial, and frank discussions’ held over future Somalia-UN relationship

EU-US trade agreement talks to be affected by American bugs

Japanese law professor elected new judge at the International Court of Justice

Mining the deep seabed will harm biodiversity. We need to talk about it

Half of Eurozone in deflation expecting salvation from monetary measures

Why the 33,000 staff European Commission did not have a real contingency plan for the refugee crisis?

ILO discusses world of work response to global refugee crisis

Mediterranean migrant drownings should spur greater action by European countries, urge UN agencies

To my Chinese friend

Protests, violence in Haiti prompts international call for ‘realistic and lasting solutions’ to crisis

Higher education becoming again a privilege of the wealthy?

AIESEC Vlog

Combatting terrorism: EP special committee calls for closer EU cooperation

Deutsche Bank slammed by the US-based trio of IMF, Fed and Moody’s

Yemen: Major UN aid boost for ‘up to 14 million’ as country risks becoming a land of ‘living ghosts’

Ethiopia will soon introduce visa-free travel for all Africans

Capital Markets Union: Making it easier for insurers to invest in the real economy

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