Migration and Health

Dealing with two health emergencies: HIV and COVID-19 in migrant shelters

The living conditions of migrants, the intention to migrate to a previously established country of destination and the timing and logistics of migratory dynamics have been severely affected by COVID-19. The health emergency has implied not only the closure of borders, and the consequent restrictions on mobility, but also an increase in the health vulnerabilities of the migrant population, which on numerous occasions has been stranded in shelters in border areas. Such is the case of Haitian, and to a lesser extent Cuban, African and Asian migrants, whose migratory projects have been momentarily interrupted by the pandemic and who are now sheltering in Panama, near the border with Colombia, as their itinerary was obstructed by the border closures.

Migrants and COVID-19: How to take care of mental health

Migrating usually involves a series of changes and adjustments for migrants and their families. Migrants need to adapt to new languages, cultures, traditions and social systems. These changes can cause a temporary increase in stress levels, that normally regulates itself with time as the individual adapts to the new circumstances, routines, and lifestyles of the destination country. However, when a crisis situation impedes migration, this adaptation process becomes much more difficult, which can lead to negative psychosocial consequences.

Communities and migrants: How to respond to the Coronavirus?


What is a coronavirus?

Coronaviruses are a family of viruses, some of which only affect animals whilst others can also cause illness in humans. The most recently discovered coronavirus, COVID-19, causes coronavirus disease, according to the World Health Organization (WHO).

COVID-19 is an infectious disease caused by the most recently discovered coronavirus, which became known in Wuhan, China, in December 2019.

Guide for psychosocial care for migrants in Mesoamerica

The different stages of the migration process bring specific risk factors that can generate psychosocial vulnerabilities that, when combined with other elements of risk such as pre-existing psychological, emotional and social vulnerabilities, can affect the well-being of migrants, their families and the communities of origin, transit or destination.

Art and creativity as elements of psychosocial support and mental health for migrants

Assistance programs for people in crisis situations have changed their focus from one based on the care and prevention of psychological symptoms, to one that involves the three spheres of the psychosocial approach model. This model contemplates the relations between mind and body, social and economic relations, and culture.

Why coming home can be harder than leaving: the psychosocial challenges of being a returnee

According to IOM’s definition, reintegration is the re-incorporation of a person into a group or process, for example, of a migrant into the society of his or her country of origin or habitual residence. Reintegration is thus a process that enables the returnee to participate again in the social, cultural, economic and political life of his or her country of origin.

The health of migrants is not only determined by individual biological aspects, but also by broader socio-economic factors such as social and community networks, living conditions, education, employment, income and community safety.

World Health Day forces us to reflect on the habits that could cause a negative effect on our health and on the measures, we must take to minimize the risks to a disease. It forces us to eat better, to perform more physical activity, to avoid stress and fundamentally to perform medical examinations that allow us to detect and treat all kinds of illness in time. But what happens when people migrate? Many of those factors, habits and conditions that are already known and that determine your health are modified.