WHO developed one Refugee and Immigrant Health Toolkita comprehensive web-based platform of tools and resources to support global, regional and country efforts in implementing health and migration-related activities.
Migration and displacement often affect people’s physical and mental health and well-being, especially for those who were forced to leave their homes. It can have a particular impact on people displaced across borders or within their own country and those in an irregular situation or with specific health and protection vulnerabilities and needs.
Refugees and migrants may face many factors such as their migratory status; national migration policies; and the linguistic, cultural, economic and social barriers that often impede their access to health services.
It is essential that countries have strong and comprehensive health systems equipped with the necessary knowledge and tools to help decision makers and health personnel meet the health needs and rights of these populations and advance the health and migration agenda.
“We developed the toolkit to help countries design, develop and implement health and migration policies, strategies and services based on evidence and technical soundness,” said Dr Santino Severoni, Director of WHO’s Health and Migration Programme. “We hope that Member States will use this single-source, operational and user-friendly toolkit in implementing health and migration-related activities, including the Global Action Plan (GAP) “Promoting the Health of Refugees and Migrants , 2019-2023”, and regional action plans with similar goals.
A single source of information, guidance and tools
The toolkit contains modules for each of the six GAP 2019-2023 priorities, along with 18 tools:
- Module 1: Short and long term public health interventions to promote the health of refugees and immigrants. The tools in this module highlight common communicable and noncommunicable diseases, including mental health, public health emergencies, and immunization.
- Module 2: mainstreaming the health of refugees and migrants on the global, regional and country agenda and access to comprehensive people-centred health services. The tools in this module discuss how to include refugees and migrants in plans and initiatives; access to primary health care and infrastructure; maternal and child health; and sexual and reproductive health, along with gender-based violence.
- Module 3: addressing the social determinants of health and worker and occupational health and safety. The tools in this module highlight urban health, climate change, water and sanitation, occupational and worker health and safety, and how these sectors can help close the health equity gap between migrants and the general population.
- Module 4: Country assessment, health monitoring and health information systems. The tools in this module aim to strengthen data collection methodology, analytics, health information systems, monitoring and evaluation of migrant health.
- Module 5: communication, combating misperception and increasing community engagement. The tools in this module address the communication and combating of misinformation and the engagement of refugees and migrants in decision-making processes and campaigns at national and local levels for the successful implementation of public health programs.
- Module 6: cooperation and partnership. This module provides guidance on mechanisms and strategies to improve cooperation and partnerships in countries, regions, UN system agencies and other stakeholders to work towards global health and humanitarian cooperation.
Each module includes an overview of key topics, a list of actions for stakeholders to consider, links to the latest available guidance, case studies and reports, training materials and other WHO publications on relevant topics. An introductory section provides essential knowledge about the health of refugees and migrants, addressing definitions, global trends, legal frameworks and resolutions.
The means are not prescriptive. They can be adapted to any specific context, region and community to inform context-specific analyzes and approaches to refugee and migrant health.
The leading platform for policy makers, planners and implementers
WHO Member States, WHO field offices, United Nations partners and non-governmental actors working on refugee and migrant health can use the refugee and migrant health toolkit to implement health programs that are truly equitable and inclusive and to evaluate and strengthen national health plans and strategies that promote the health of refugees and migrants and host populations.