The Health & Migration issue
When you read the title of this issue, ‘health and migration’, what was the first thing to pop into your mind? You will be forgiven for thinking of the refugee crisis. After all, the media has been saturated with the increasing conflicts around the globe, the ensuing refugee crisis and the contentious discussions as to how to manage it in the various host countries. I will however like to point out that ‘health and migration’ goes beyond the refugee crisis and the health needs of refugees. It is a multifaceted issue that concerns various stakeholders: the users of the health system, the providers of the health system, and other actors in the provision of health (e.g. international and humanitarian organizations).
One must consider the various reasons that could push someone to migrate from their home, such as natural disasters (e.g. earthquakes) and economic hardships. Refuge is not necessarily sought abroad as many people are internally displaced in their own countries, as is the case in Yemen. Regardless of if the individual is a refugee abroad or an internally displaced citizen, the living conditions in which they find themselves usually compromise their health.
From the perspective of the provider, brain drain is a problem for many low- and middle-income countries whose health professionals migrate to other countries in pursuit of better prospects. This is detrimental to the health of the population in the source country (the country from which the health professionals come from). With regards to international aid organizations, such as the UN, and humanitarian organizations, such as the American Red Cross, society must continue being vigilant and dogged in holding these organizations accountable for their wrongdoings in the management of humanitarian crises.
In this issue of the PHIN newsletter, our writers and contributors cover the issues aforementioned. Interviews have been conducted with people working in the humanitarian field abroad and with the refugees in Paris. Additionally, you will be provided a glimpse into the MPH student life with the PHIN update and also a summary of events attended by MPH students.
As always, thanks are extended to all of the contributors, the interviewees for accepting to be interviewed, and to you the readers for deciding to read the issue. Access the full issue in PDF here.
Pauline Obale, Editor