TB Europe Coalition (TBEC) and the Regional Expert Group on Migration and Health (REG) are coordinating a series of 3 webinars on TB and migrant health. The webinars will address the barriers migrants face when accessing TB and healthcare services across the WHO Europe region and the challenges for service delivery. The first webinar will focus on TB and migrant health within an Eastern European and Central Asian (EECA) context, the second will focus on a Western European and EU Member State context, and the third will focus on service delivery.
Eastern Europe and Central Asia accounts for some of the world’s largest international labour migration trends, particularly among Central Asian countries and Russia, including both legal and irregular migration.
The EECA Region also has the highest rates of drug-resistant TB in the world, accounting for over 25% of the worlds MDR-TB cases. Migrants are particularly at risk of acquiring TB due to poor living and/or work conditions, limited access to diagnosis and treatment, late presentation due to fear of being deported, and high mobility due to temporary and seasonal migration patterns.
Migrants in EECA are faced with limitations or denials of their basic rights on a regular basis, and many of the countries in this region have policies in place for mandatory TB and HIV testing for arriving migrants, thereby ostracising them. The WHO and European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control strongly advise against mandatory HIV testing for these groups but support routine offering of testing services and linkage to treatment and care.
There is still a long way to go to secure the rights to health for migrants in Europe and Central Asia. Ensuring the human rights of migrants can not only bring positive economic development to host countries, but is also essential to tackling the TB epidemic and achieving targets set out during the UN high level meeting on TB in 2018.
Please join TBEC and REG for the first in our series of webinars on TB and migrant health in EECA. In this session we will be joined by the WHO Regional Office for Europe and IOM Tajikistan to discuss the challenges migrants in EECA face in accessing health services in their host countries. The line-up for speakers and registration is below. Please register to receive a zoom link.
Please find more information here. The webinar will take place in Russian and English, with simultaneous translation.