IOM Dominica supports Country’s Office of Disaster Management (ODM) Improve Emergency Preparedness of Communities

Date Publish: 

Dominica, Hurricane Response, Resilience, Risk Management

Roseau – Training of community members in the use of amateur radios (ham radios), emergency communications and other related topics will take place at the end of January 2019, as part of IOM and Dominica’s Office of Disaster Management (ODM) works to ensure that communities are aware, prepared and able to communicate in the event of an emergency or disaster. 

Following IOM’s Age-Gender-Diversity Approach, participants in the radio trainings will represent diverse ages and include women and men, and special effort is being made to ensure that the training includes people with disabilities through the Dominica Association of People with Disabilities (DAPD), who are traditionally not availed of such opportunities.

IOM is also assisting the ODM to build on national preparedness and resilience by procuring 30 ham radio equipment to be pre-positioned in targeted communities, following a government-commissioned post-disaster report. The report noted that all telecommunications services on Dominica except for ham radio, were disabled from 19 to 21 September 2017 following Hurricane Maria.  The report also noted the lack of trained ham radio operators. Candidates that will successfully pass the exams at the end of the training will receive the relevant international certification.

This initiative is part of a multi-faceted project, funded by the US Agency for International Development (USAID), through which IOM assists the government of Dominica with the repair and upgrade of 12 emergency shelters in Dominica.

Renovation works began on January 15, in the western community of Mahaut at the largest emergency shelter on the island, which hosted 300 internally displaced persons during and after the passage of Hurricane Maria in September 2017. Repairs will include the installment of a solar PV system and training of staff in maintenance, preparation and recovery of the solar systems in the event of a hurricane.

In an effort to strengthen the national institutional coordination, IOM coordinated with the ODM meetings with the Department of Local Government, and the Adult Education Division, to collaboratively roll out an island-wide Learning Needs Assessment regarding Disaster Management topics.

A workshop was held on the 3rd of January 2019 where all field officers of these departments were engaged. IOM designed survey questionnaires and will provide technical support in the analysis of the findings. The assessment targets over 3000 people across Dominica.

The result will be a National Emergency Training Matrix, giving an overview of trained citizens and training gaps per community. The Matrix will help the ODM to develop a National Emergency Training Program which will better meet the needs of local communities. 

For further information please Contact Maxine Alleyne-Esprit at IOM Dominica, Email:  Tel: + (767) 275-3225.


It’s Time to Think Universal!

Date Publish: 
22 / 03 / 2019

Geneva – IOM´s successful Tuberculosis (TB) control efforts have surpassed their targets, benefiting communities in countries of origin and destination for migrants around the world. IOM´s successful Tuberculosis (TB) control efforts have surpassed their targets, benefiting communities in countries of origin and destination for migrants around the world. The sustained high treatment success rate is largely attributed to early detection, active case finding, directly observed treatment (DOT) and targeted patient-centred, migration-sensitive care. 

In today’s increasingly mobile and interconnected world, with about 258 million international and 760 million internal migrants[1], migration must be recognized as a social determinant of health, impacting upon every individual’s vulnerability and well-being. Migration also profoundly affects the lives of families back home, as well as people in communities of origin, transit and destination world-wide.

Despite well-established diagnosis and treatment regimens, TB remains a public health burden in many parts of the world and a leading infectious killer, with an estimated 10 million new cases andapproximately 1.3 million deaths in 2017[2], disproportionately affecting poor and marginalized populations, such as migrants. TB prevention and control efforts often do not address the specific vulnerabilities of migrants, which leads to delayed diagnosis and/or discontinued 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 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.

In addition, migrants face barriers to accessing health services due to language and cultural difference, and administrative hurdles. Migrants are often excluded from social protection in health and are invisible to Universal Health Coverage (UHC) programmes. As a result, many migrants pay out-of-pocket to get the health services they need, which may result in catastrophic health expenditure, delayed and substandard care.

It’s time for inclusion of migrants!  Worldwide, in 2018, IOM conducted more than 376,800 pre-departure health assessments for migrants and refugees and detected 584 active cases of TB, which translates to a TB detection rate of 155 per 100,000 health assessments. Active TB cases were either confirmed by sputum culture or diagnosed based on clinical and radiological findings. IOM works in collaboration with National TB Programs and is committed to accelerate the end of TB through the strengthening of migrant-sensitive health systems, able to assess and focus on the specific vulnerabilities and conditions of the migrant population. (see video with story from Jordan)   

It's Time to set ambitious goals for treatment success, which is possible based on the success story from IOM’s Migration Health Assessment Centre in Nairobi, Kenya, where DOT clinics surpassed targets with comprehensive care, by including active reach-out to patients and nutritional support, ensuring that neither patients nor their households suffer catastrophic costs due to TB, a key element in achieving the target 3.8 of the Sustainable development goals (SDGs).

Successful treatment of TB hinges on DOT and patient-centered, migration-sensitive care, where an individual’s specific health needs, migration related vulnerabilities and desired health outcomes are taken into consideration. Treatment of persons testing positive is a core part of IOM’s health assessments for migrants, including refugees prior to resettlement. From 2010 to 2016, IOM’s Migration Health Assessment Centre in Kenya diagnosed 426 cases of active TB, treating 363 of them at IOM Kenya’s TB DOT clinics, while the others were referred for treatment. IOM Kenya’s TB DOT clinics sustained high treatment success rates over this period, ranging from 90% to 100%.

It’s time to be accountable to the TB commitments. IOM’s experience has shown that failing to address the health of migrants has severe consequences for the well-being of millions of migrants and communities of origin, transit and destination. Migrants urgently need to be included at global, national and local prevention and control strategies to end the TB epidemic, in line with the objectives of the Global Compact for Safe, Orderly and Regular Migration and the Resolution 70.15 of the World Health Assembly on Promoting the health of refugees and migrants (2017).

Moreover, the End TB Strategy, the Moscow Declaration and the UN High Level Meeting Declaration “United to End Tuberculosis” afford a tremendous opportunity to ensure and commit at the highest level to not leave migrants behind and promote cross-border collaboration amongst countries towards reducing TB and HIV burden. Jacqueline Weekers, Director of IOM’s Migration Health Division said: “Ending TB means addressing the intrinsic linkages between population mobility and tuberculosis as well as acknowledging that UHC is only real if high risks groups are accounted for”.

For more information please contact IOM HQ

Carlos Van der Laat, Tel +14227179459, Email: