Participants of the International Consultation on Pre-Departure Health Assessment
International Consultation on Pre-Departure Health Assessments hosted from 26th to 27thSeptmeber by Sri Lanka Ministry of Health with support from IOM was a big success. The event was participated over 80 participants representing national and international academia and governments from this region (Sri Lanka, Maldives, Nepal, Bangladesh, China, Philippines, Cambodia, Malaysia), from the Gulf Health Council for Gulf Cooperation Council (Saudi Arabia, UAE, Bahrain, Oman, Qatar, Kuwait, Yemen), FVEY countries (Australia, Canada, UK, US), Jordan, Lebanon and a number of IOM Missions (Sri Lanka, Nepal, Bangladesh, Philippines).
This event records as the first International Consultation on Pre departure health assessments held with the participation of both countries of origin and destination.
The consultation offered a valuable platform for discussions around migrant health assessments and national public health systems from the perspective of countries of origin and destination with a number of relevant recommendations made including: a) renewed recognition of the need to harmonize various existing technical instructions and protocols, b) promoting linkages between migrant health assessments and continuity of care and universal health coverage, and c) continued dialogue globally and within regional processes and initiatives (i.e. CP, SAARC, ASEAN).
In the course of the consultation, Sri Lanka MOH presented its first National Guidelines on Pre-Departure Migration Health Assessments and received positive feedback on it as a good example for the region. The Guidelines followed a rapid assessment conducted by MOH with IOM support which highlighted, amongst others, that pre-departure health assessment services should contribute to the national surveillance system and the notification of diseases of public health significance thus ensuring provision of e care and follow-up.
The consultation was followed by a two-day MHADRI Global Network Member Meeting. Currently chaired by IOM and the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, the Migrant Health and Development Research Initiative (MHADRI) is an international partnership of academic, policy and operational organisations aiming to improve the health and wellbeing of migrants through research evidence. It was great seeing a number of eminent and bright scholars getting together and strategize on how to move this initiative forward, including positioning MHADRI as a mechanism to facilitate IOM’s research-based programming in the field of migration health.