WHO has developed a Refugee and Migrant Health Toolkit, a comprehensive web-based platform of one-stop tools and resources to support global, regional and national efforts to implement health and migration-related activities.
Migration and displacement often affect the physical and mental health and well-being of people, especially those forced to flee their homes. It may have a particular impact on those displaced across borders or within their own countries, and those in an informal situation or with vulnerabilities and specific health and protection needs.
Refugees and migrants may face many factors such as their immigration status; national immigration policies; language, cultural, economic and social barriers that often prevent them from accessing health services.
Countries must have strong and inclusive health systems equipped with the necessary knowledge and tools to help policymakers and health personnel meet the health needs and rights of these populations and advance the health and migration agenda.
“We have developed a toolkit to assist countries in designing, developing and implementing health and migration policies, strategies and services based on evidence and technical soundness,” said Dr Santino Severoni, Director of WHO’s Health and Migration Programme. “We hope that Member States will use this single-source, actionable and user-friendly toolkit to implement health and migration-related activities, including the Global Action Plan (GAP) ‘Promoting the health of refugees and migrants, 2019-2023’, and Regional action plans with similar objectives.
Your one-stop source for information, guides and tools
The toolkit contains modules for each of the six GAP priorities for 2019-2023, as well as 18 tools:
- Module 1: Short-term and long-term public health interventions Promoting the health of refugees and migrants. The module’s tools highlight common communicable and non-communicable diseases, including mental health, public health emergencies and immunization.
- Module 2: Mainstreaming refugee and migrant health on global, regional and national agendas and access to people-centred and inclusive health services. The tools in this module discuss how to mainstream refugees and migrants into programs and initiatives; access to primary care and infrastructure; maternal and child health; and reproductive health, as well as gender-based violence.
- Module 3: Addressing social determinants of health and worker and occupational health and safety. The tools in this module focus on urban health, climate change, water and sanitation, occupational and worker health and safety, and how these sectors can help close the health equity gap between migrants and the general population.
- Module 4: Country assessment, health surveillance and health information systems. The tools in this module aim to strengthen data collection methods, analysis, health information systems, monitoring and evaluation of migrants’ health.
- Module 5: Communication, Clearing Up Misunderstandings and Increasing Community Engagement. The tools in this module address communication and countering misinformation and the participation of refugees and migrants in decision-making processes and campaigns at national and local levels for the successful implementation of public health programmes.
- Module 6: Collaboration and Partnerships. This module provides guidance on mechanisms and strategies to strengthen collaboration and partnerships among countries, regions, UN system agencies and other stakeholders for global health and humanitarian cooperation.
Each module includes a summary of key topics, a checklist of actions for stakeholders to consider, links to the latest available guidance, case studies and reports, training materials and other WHO publications on the relevant topic. The introductory section provides basic knowledge on refugee and migrant health, covering definitions, global trends, legal frameworks and resolutions.
These tools are not prescriptive. They can be adapted to each specific setting, region and community, informing context-specific analyzes and approaches to refugee and migrant health.
The platform of choice for policy makers, planners and implementers
The Refugee and Migrant Health Toolkit can be used by WHO Member States, WHO country offices, United Nations partners and non-governmental actors working on refugee and migrant health to implement truly equitable and inclusive health programmes, and to evaluate and strengthen National health plans and strategies promote the health of refugees and migrants and host populations.