IOM's response to COVID-19

 

How can COVID19 spread among migrants?

Conditions surrounding the migration process, not the individuals, such as barriers to health services, poor living and working conditions and exploitation, that can pose health risks.

It is important that governments take a migrant-inclusive approach to ensure that all migrants regardless of their legal status, and other non-nationals, are considered in public health planning, response and messaging. This means: the use of adequate language, culturally appropriate recommendations and treatment modalities, and ensuring that all migrants, in regular or irregular situations, can access health services, without fear of stigma, arrest or deportation, among other things.

 

How has misinformation affected the outbreak?

“Our greatest enemy right now is not the coronavirus itself. It’s fear, rumours and stigma. And our greatest assets are facts, reason and solidarity,” according to Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, Director-General of the World Health Organization.

From a public health perspective, the risk of exclusion and stigmatization may result in migrants hiding in their symptoms rather than seeking treatment. This puts everyone at risk of getting sick. We can all play a role in identifying and challenging misinformation online, whilst sharing information from trustworthy sources, in order to reduce panic, xenophobia and the spread of misinformation.

 

Download communication materials on COVID-19 from the IOM Regional Office for Central America, North America and the Caribbean

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