October 6, 2022

Tag: Echo

ECHA, Immigration, Miscellaneous

IOM calls for the inclusion of migrants in TB prevention and treatment strategies

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Geneva — In today’s increasingly mobile and interconnected world, migration has become an integral part of the lives of about 215 million international and 740 million internal migrants. It also profoundly affects the lives of their families back home, as well as people in communities of migrant origin, transit and destination world-wide.

“On World TB Day, we note that despite well-established diagnosis and treatment regimens, TB remains a public health burden in many parts of the world, disproportionately affecting poor and marginalized populations, such as migrants. TB prevention and control efforts often do not address the specific vulnerabilities of migrants and we therefore frequently see delayed diagnosis and/or discontinued treatment of TB,” says IOM Director General William Lacy Swing. “The absence of targeted TB prevention, control and surveillance strategies for migrants is a barrier to reaching global TB elimination targets, including the aspirational goals of Zero TB Deaths, Zero TB Disease and Zero Suffering ,” he adds.

As many studies have shown, migrants and their families have higher levels of TB-related morbidity and mortality, as they generally lack access to routine TB diagnostics and continuity of treatment.

The way in which many migrants travel, live and work can carry risks for their physical and mental well-being.  Many work in dangerous, difficult and demeaning (3D) jobs, and live in isolation and sub-standard housing. Others may be detained in over-crowded detention facilities, or live in camps as refugees or internally displaced persons. Migrants are thus among the vulnerable groups that face a particularly high level of TB risk factors. Consequently, migration can be considered as a social determinant of health.

As part of IOM’s on-going global health assessment programme for refugees and immigrants, IOM conducts screening for TB and provides a range of comprehensive services, including physical exams, radiological interventions, sputum smears and cultures and directly-observed-treatment (DOT), either directly or through a referral system in partnership with national TB programmes.

It has adopted several state-of-the-art TB diagnostic technologies, including digital radiology and drug susceptibility testing (DST.) In 2011 alone, IOM conducted approximately 270,000 health assessment exams in over sixty countries, detecting about 755 TB cases.

In partnership with WHO’s TB REACH programme, IOM is increasing TB case detection and treatment among migrants in Lao PDR, Thailand, Nepal, Cambodia, Ethiopia, Ghana and Myanmar.

In Cambodia, for example, IOM works to detect and treat TB among vulnerable migrants at the Cambodia-Thai border. Many Cambodians cross the border into Thailand to support their families as low-skilled, undocumented migrant workers. But in Thailand their access to health care is limited, and their work and living conditions put them at risk of contracting TB and other health problems. IOM uses community health workers to reach out to these migrants to improve their access to TB diagnosis and treatment.

IOM is also an active member and co-chair of the Scientific Working Group on TB and Migration at the International Union against TB and Lung Disease (IUATLD), which brings together the WHO and other UN partners, governmental and non-governmental partners, and migrant associations to address the challenges of working on TB and migration.

This week, IOM is participating in a high-level event in Swaziland with the South African and Swazi Ministers of Health and UNAIDS’ Executive Director Michel Sidibé. (http://www.stoptb.org/assets/documents/news/Health%20leaders%20launch%201000%20day%20push%20to%20meet%20African%20tuberculosis%20and%20HIV%20targets.pdf)

At the event, “Towards Ending TB and the TB/HIV Co-epidemic in SADC Countries,” IOM will emphasize the cross-border dimensions of TB in light of regional mobility patterns and confirm its on-going commitment to ending TB, especially in the mining sector where many migrants work.

IOM also carries out TB programmes as part of its comprehensive emergency response. In Jordan, for example, IOM is working with the local health authorities on active TB detection, referral and TB awareness-raising services among Syrians refugees and host communities, in close coordination with UNHCR and WHO. From March 2012 to date, 41 TB cases have been detected and referred for treatment from a screened pool of 196,931 refugees, while over 63,000 Syrians have benefitted from TB awareness-raising sessions. 

“IOM’s experience has shown that not addressing the health of migrants has severe consequences for the well-being of millions of migrants and communities of origin, transit and destination. In the case of TB, migrants urgently need to be included in national and global TB prevention and control strategies. For the achievement of global health goals, it is therefore indispensable that migrants’ health is addressed in the post-2015 UN development framework, and the World Health Assembly Resolution 61.17 on the Health of Migrants is implemented in all countries,” says Ambassador Swing.

See for instance: Alimuddin Zumla, M.D., Ph.D., Mario Raviglione, M.D., Richard Hafner, M.D., and C. Fordham von Reyn, M.D. (2013): Current concepts – Tuberculosis; in: The New England Journal of Medecine, 2013;368:745-55. DOI: 10.1056/NEJMra1200894.

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Immigration, Miscellaneous

IOM May Assist in Nauru-Cambodia Refugee Relocation

Thailand – IOM has announced that at the request of three of its Member States – Cambodia, Nauru and Australia – it will develop a program aimed at facilitating the relocation and integration of refugees from Nauru to Cambodia.

IOM has communicated this decision to the Cambodian and Australian governments, who last year signed a Memorandum of Understanding on the Settlement of Refugees currently living in Nauru.

IOM, the world’s leading migration body, comprised of 157 Member States, believes this initiative will help improve access to services for all refugees in Cambodia.

Some 400 foreign nationals have been living in the Nauruan community since the Government of Nauru began making refugee status determinations in mid-2014. A further 800 foreign nationals are currently living in Nauru awaiting refugee status determination.

It is unclear how many will choose to move to Cambodia if offered the opportunity. Yet after a lengthy assessment and consultation process, IOM has decided to offer support to any foreign nationals living in Nauru, who freely and voluntarily make a decision to relocate to Cambodia.

IOM has built up global expertise over the past 64 years, having relocated millions to new home countries. The organization will offer similar services once the status of those foreign nationals in Nauru is determined and if they opt for relocation to Cambodia.

These services could include pre-departure orientation; language training and pre-travel preparation; arranging transport to and reception in Cambodia; and working with partner organizations and local authorities to help them find work and access services after they arrive.

IOM set out several conditions before agreeing to become involved in the relocation process. These included the possibility of family reunification for those who seek it; the right to live and work anywhere in Cambodia; sufficient funding for all aspects of the program to allow them to establish self-reliance, possibly to the point of naturalization for those who may need it; efficient provision of recognized legal documents that would allow them to access health care, educational and employment opportunities; sufficient time to prepare the integration package prior to arrival in Cambodia; and an agreement that all designated refugees in Cambodia, including those who are already in the country, would have access to similar entitlements.

The Government of Cambodia has given assurances that it will cooperate with IOM in fulfilling these conditions.

IOM will not be involved at any time in discussing relocation options and any decision to move from or remain in Nauru is one for the foreign nationals themselves and for the governments determining their eligibility for the program.

IOM believes that its involvement will facilitate improvements for the good of all parties in this extremely complex situation, bearing in mind IOM’s mandate to ensure the well-being and dignity of all migrants. Using IOM’s extensive and global operational experience with such programs, IOM can bring significant credibility to the process.

For more information please contact

Joe Lowry
IOM Regional Office for Asia and the Pacific
Tel. +66 818 708 081
Email: jlowry@iom.int

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Legal Matters, PolicyAgriculture, PolicyRegional

Daily News 22 / 12 / 2014

Passenger rights: Eurobarometer survey shows one in three EU citizens are aware of their rights when travelling

The European Commission released today the results of a new Eurobarometer survey on passenger rights. Nearly one third of EU citizens are aware of their rights and obligations when buying a ticket to travel (31%), although 59 % said to be unaware of them according to the survey. The results also show a very high level of satisfaction among passengers who need assistance due to a disability or reduced mobility: 81% of them were happy with the assistance received. Violeta Bulc, EU Commissioner for Transport said: “Citizens are my number one priority when it comes to European Transport and I want to ensure that they are aware of their rights when travelling. It is important that rights don’t only exist on paper. Today’s survey shows that progress has been made, particularly for persons with a disability or reduced mobility, but clearly more can be done. However let’s not forget that all EU citizens are covered by passenger rights under EU law wherever and however they travel – this is already a brilliant achievement for our Union. Now, our priority will be to make sure all Europeans know their rights when they travel. Let’s work together to achieve this!” For more detailed information click here. Video message from Commissioner Bulc on passenger rights. (for more information: Jakub Adamowicz – Tel.: +32 229 50595; Joshua Salsby – Tel.: +32 229 72459)

 

EU to support agriculture sector and improve education in Cambodia

The European Union has announced new funding of total €410 million under its bilateral cooperation with Cambodia over the period 2014-2020 to continue its support to Cambodia’s progress. The funds will help to strengthen agriculture and natural resource management, provide better education and implement governance and administration reforms. Cambodia has achieved outstanding socio-economic progress over the past 10 years. The majority of the population lifted out of poverty however remains highly vulnerable. The EU has therefore decided to increase its support to Cambodia to help the country’s ambitions to further reduce poverty, to promote equitable and sustainable growth and to enhance good governance, democracy and the rule of law. In addition to this bilateral programme, Cambodia will continue receiving support under other EU thematic and regional instruments and programmes. More details are available here. (for more information: Catherine Ray – Tel.: +32 229-69921; Sharon Zarb – Tel.: +32 229-92256)

EU increases humanitarian aid for South Sudan

The European Commission is increasing its life-saving assistance to South Sudan by €7.78 million, bringing its 2014 relief aid for one of the world’s worst humanitarian crises to more than €117 million. The new funds will provide shelter, water, hygiene and protection to the people affected by the conflict. They will also help South Sudanese refugees in Sudan. In addition, the Commission supports the overall refugee response in the Horn of Africa with around €50 million, which includes aid to South Sudanese refugees in Ethiopia, Uganda and Kenya. Humanitarian funding from the EU – its Member States and the European Commission – for South Sudan stands at over €273 million in 2014. The conflict in South Sudan has resulted in the death of tens of thousands and the displacement of two million people. More details are available here. (For more information: Catherine Ray – Tel.: +32 229 69 921, Irina Novakova – Tel.: +32 229 575 17).

 

EU releases emergency funds for humanitarian assistance to Libya

The European Commission is giving €2 million in emergency funding to assist scores of Libyans who have been forced to flee their homes because of worsening violence in the country. The funding will provide essential humanitarian assistance and protection to the most vulnerable people affected by the conflict. It will be used to provide food, shelter, medical assistance and psycho-social support. The approaching winter will also increase the need for warm clothing, heaters and insulated shelter. “It is clear that there are huge needs and the emergency aid we are providing can be a lifeline to some of the most vulnerable families caught up in the conflict,” said the EU Commissioner for Humanitarian Aid and Crisis Management Christos Stylianides. A press release is available with more details. (for more information: Catherine Ray – Tel.: +32 229-69921; Irina Novakova – Tel.: +32 229-57517)

Mergers: Commission clears acquisition of Nutreco by SHV

The European Commission has approved under the EU Merger Regulation the acquisition of Nutreco by SHV, both of the Netherlands. Nutreco is active in the production, sale and distribution of nutritional products for fish and livestock animals, under brands such as Trouw and Skretting. SHV operates worldwide in energy distribution (SHV Energy), cash-and-carry wholesale (through Makro stores in South America), heavy lifting and transport activities (Mammoet), mechanical engineering components and industrial services (ERIKS), oil and gas (Dyas), and private equity (NPM Capital). The Commission concluded that the proposed acquisition would not raise competition concerns because the activities of SHV and Nutreco do not overlap. The transaction was examined under the simplified merger review procedure. More information is available on the Commission’s competition website in the public case register under the case number M.7471. (for more information: Lucia Caudet – Tel.:+32 229 56182; Carolina Luna Gordo – Tel.: +32 229 68386)

Mergers: Commission approves IMS Health’s acquisition of parts of Cegedim, subject to conditions

The European Commission has cleared under the EU Merger Regulation the proposed acquisition of part of the customer relationship management and strategic data business of Cegedim S.A. of France by IMS Health of the US. The decision is conditional upon IMS’ commitment to divest parts of its primary market research business and to grant third party access to the structure underlying its sales tracking data, the so-called “brick structure”. The Commission had concerns that the proposed transaction could lead to less choice and higher prices for customers of standardised primary market research services. Also, the Commission had concerns that IMS Health could refuse to give access to its “brick structure” to its competitors. This would have prevented IMS Health’s competitors from competing effectively on the market. The commitments address these concerns. The full press release is available here. (for more information: Lucia Caudet – Tel.:+32 229 56182; Carolina Luna Gordo – Tel.: +32 229 68386)

Culture: Europe’s historical sites up for the European heritage label  

Today, sixteen historically and culturally important sites around Europe have been recommended to receive the European Heritage Label (EHL). The label celebrates the cultural diversity of the continent and highlights a sense of a shared European belonging. A series of information and educational activities related to the sites will also be organised. The sites have been selected by an independent panel set up by the European Commission, and are spread across 10 Member States. They include sites in Germany (Sites of the Peace of Westphalia in Münster and Osnabrück; Hambach Castle); Greece (the Heart of Ancient Athens);  Spain (Archive of the Crown of Aragon; Residencia de Estudiantes); France (Abbey of Cluny; Robert Schuman’s House); Hungary (Pan European Picnic Memorial Park); Italy (Museo Casa Alcide De Gasperi); Lithuania (Kaunas of 1919-1940); Poland (Union of Lublin; the May 3 Constitution of 1791; the historic Gdańsk Shipyard; Portugal (General Library of the University of Coimbra, Charter of Law of Abolition of the death Penalty); and Slovenia (Franja Partisan Hospital). The Commission will formally nominate the sites in February 2015. More information about the EHL and the sites can be found here. (for more information: Lucia Caudet  – Tel.:+32 229 56182, Mirna Bratoz – Tel.:+32 229 87278)

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