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World Health Organization: Refugees and migrants are among the most vulnerable and neglected

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Posted: Monday, July 25, 2022. 11:28 am CST.

By Zoila Palma Gonzalez: The first report by the World Health Organization (WHO) on the health of refugees and migrants demonstrates that refugees and migrants are among the most vulnerable and neglected members of society, Loop reports.

According to the report, globally, millions of refugees and migrants in vulnerable situations such as low-skilled migrant workers, face poorer health outcomes than their host communities.

WHO noted that it is probable that the world will not achieve the health-related United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals for these populations.

“Today, there are some one billion migrants globally, about one in eight people. The experience of migration is a key determinant of health and wellbeing, and refugees and migrants remain among the most vulnerable and neglected members of many societies,” Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, WHO Director-General stated.

Dr. Tedros noted that the report is the first to offer a global review of refugee and migrant health and calls for urgent and collective action to ensure they can access health care services that are sensitive to their needs.

Data from the International Organization for Migration (IOM) showed that Northern America was the destination for 59 million international migrants in 2020.

In addition, WHO said that the number of international migrants more than doubled since 2005 in Latin America and the Caribbean, making it the region with the highest growth.

The report also noted that refugees and migrants are not inherently less healthy than host populations.

“It is, rather, the impact of the various suboptimal health determinants, such as education, income, housing, access to services, compounded by linguistic, cultural, legal and other barriers and the interaction of these during the life course, that are behind poor health outcomes,” WHO asserted.

The report reiterated that displacement is a key factor in a person’s health and wellbeing, especially when combined with other factors.

 

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