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

the European Sting Milestones

Featured Stings

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

COP21 Breaking News_10 December:#ParisAgreement: Points that remain in suspense

MEPs want to ensure sufficient funding for Connecting Europe’s future

This Netherlands football stadium creates its own energy and stores it in electric car batteries

“Be aware where you put your I Agree signature on and something else”; now Facebook by default opts you in an unseen private data bazar

Commuters in these cities spend more than 8 days a year stuck in traffic

Energy Union: EU’s effort towards a cleaner climate with integrated energy market

Here are 3 alternative visions for the future of work

Is the European Banking Union an impossible task?

Scotland and First Minister Salmond enter the most challenging battlefield for independence: Europe

This heroic doctor is waging war on rape and the stigma around it

“I believe that startups are for grown-up men, those, who have already achieved something “

Trump and Brexit: After the social whys the political whereto

Central African Republic: UN chief hails signing of new peace agreement

Main results of G20 summit in Buenos Aires, Argentina

In Gaza, UN envoy urges Israel, Palestinian factions to step back from brink of a war that ‘everybody will lose’

‘Stop and listen’ to victims of terrorism, UN chief urges in message marking international day

He died so I could live: UN peacekeeper pays tribute to fallen colleague

Costa Coffee products (Copyright: Costa Coffee; Source: Costa Coffee website, Press area)

The start of the “Caffeine rush”: Coca-Cola acquires Costa Coffee days after Nestlé-Starbucks deal

A call for a new crop of innovators

“At the Environment Assembly citizens expect clean, not hot air”, the Head of UN Environment in Europe underscores in a Sting Exclusive

European Business Summit 2013: Where Business and Politics shape the future

It’s time for cybersecurity to go pro bono

“America first” policy goes against EU-US partnership, say MEPs

Why Eurozone urgently needs the ECB to print and distribute at least €500 billion

Online platforms required by law to be more transparent with EU businesses

Norway is known for its cold weather – but it’s been in the grip of a severe heatwave

3 ways activists are being targeted by cyberattacks

New state aid rules: Commission increases national support to farmers up to €25,000

The hidden cost of the electric car boom – child labour

Climate Change : An Already Health Emergency

VW emissions scandal: EU unable to protect its consumers against large multinationals

Libya: Attack on foreign ministry, an attack on all Libyans, stresses UN envoy

The Banking Union divides deeply the European Union

Why medicine is relevant to the battle against climate change

How Europe beat the financial crisis – and the risks it still faces

New European frontiers for renewable energy development

UNICEF delivers medical supplies to Gaza in wake of deadly protests

The world’s e-waste is a huge problem. It’s also a golden opportunity

Predatory labour taxation not an issue for the Commission

Security Council renews mandates of UN force monitoring separation area between Israel and Syria; AU-UN hybrid mission in Darfur

New identity cards deliver recognition and protection for Rohingya refugees in Bangladesh

Draghi sees inflationary bubbles

Violent disorder is on the rise. Is inequality to blame?

Multilateralism: The only path to address the world’s troubles, signals Guterres

Bundesbank’s President Weidmann criticises France and the EU. Credibility at risk?

EU unfolds strategy on the Egypt question

GSMA outlines new developments for Mobile World Congress Shanghai 2018

The Fourth Industrial Revolution is driving Globalization 4.0

EU to scrutinise foreign direct investment more closely

Employers’ organizations work towards improving the enabling environment for sustainable enterprises

Africa-Europe Alliance: first projects kicked off just three months after launch

Reinforcing EU border security: Visa-exempt travelers will be pre-screened

Sub10 Systems @ MWC14: Bridging the Ethernet of the Future

ECB: The bastion of effective and equitable Europeanism keeps up quantitative easing

Our present and future tax payments usurped by banks

UN welcomes Angola’s repeal of anti-gay law, and ban on discrimination based on sexual orientation

China is a renewable energy champion. But it’s time for a new approach

Who will win the AI race? If countries work together, then the answer could be all of us

Eurozone: Avoiding a new Greek accident

The Ultimate Career Choice: General Practice Specialist

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