Multi- stakeholder, Inter-Ministerial and evidence based approach to develop Migration Health Policy for Sri Lanka supported by the International Organization for Migration (IOM) led by the Ministry of Health
Since the adoption of the WHA resolution on “Health of Migrants” in 2008, the Government of Sri Lanka has progressed rapidly in developing the national agenda on migration health development. Recognizing that migration health has multi-sectoral determinants and impacts, the Migration Health Development programme was launched in 2009 in Sri Lanka. This programme, spearheaded by the Ministry of Health adopted a whole of government approach involving 12 key Government Ministries to advance the Sri Lanka’s Migration Health Agenda.
Inter-ministerial coordination mechanism has achieved remarkable progress in a very short amount of time. The Migration Health Taskforce (MHT) comprise with technical focal points from each key agency meets regularly to discuss the issues related to programme implementation and a high level policy decision are taken by the National steering committee on Migration Health (NSC) chaired by the Secretary of Health. A secretariat has been established within the Ministry of Health (MOH) with the support of IOM to act as the permanent coordinating hub.
Through this coordination framework, the Government of Sri Lanka has also proactively responded to the emerging migration health related challenges faced by the nation, such as the health services provision for returning refugees and the health assessments of the resident visa applicants to the country.
IOM supports the Ministry of Health’s Migration Health Strategy through the following broad areas of work:
- Enhancing technical capacity of the Ministry of Health to integrate migration health in the national, regional and global agendas, and to manage various migration health challenges;
- Development of a National migration health policy for Sri Lanka within a evidenced-based research agenda.
- Developing and enhancing technical cooperation on health assessment and health promotion for mobile at risk populations and migrants.
For further information;
1. Dr.K Wickramage
2. Dr.S.L Peiris