IOM launches MigApp in the framework of the Regional Conference on Migration in Panama


Date Publish: 
11/15/2018

Panama, 14 november. Today (14/11) IOM, the UN Migration Agency, and the Government of Panama, in their capacity as Pro-Tempore Chair of the Regional Conference on Migration (RCM), present MigApp, IOM's mobile app for migrants. This launch was attended by vice-ministers of foreign affairs and government representatives of the 11 countries of Central America and North America that make up the RCM.

The IOM mobile app incorporates for the first time the functions that previously had the pilot regional app MigrantApp, already used by more than 12,000 people in the region: geolocated information on services of state institutions and non-profit organizations, health centers, consulates, embassies, among others. It also provides information on immigration requirements, visas and programs for assisted voluntary return.

With it, migrants in the region will be able to access geolocated information from more than 1700 care centers and assistance institutions for migrants, almost 400 offices for vulnerable migrants, 171 consulates and embassies and more than 600 health centers, NGO´s, among others. It also offers information on migratory services, access to training and job placement programs and specialized services for vulnerable persons such as migrant minors, LGBTI persons, victims of violence or trafficking in persons.

“We are very excited about the introduction of MigApp to Central and North America. This launch is a result of the strong collaboration and partnership between the Information and Communications Technology Division and the regional and country mission in Costa Rica for Mesoamerica. The teams worked very hard to combine the regional contextual information and services provided by the MigrantApp with the thematic information from MigApp to provide a greatly enhanced product” said Muwanga-Ssevume, IOM Chief Information Officer.

"The purpose of the app is to help migrants make informed decisions, simplifying access to information and safe and reliable services related to migration," said IOM Regional Director Marcelo Pisani. The app also contains services provided by the IOM, such as comparing the costs of send remittances, send alerts in case of emergencies, and others.

Mr. Jonathan Del Rosario, Minister of Security, stressed that "The Government of Panama is pleased to support this initiative, which is not only of vital importance to inform nationals abroad in a timely manner, but also to that we see the strategic role that a country can have when it receives migrants, or even a massive influx of visitors, like the one we expect in Panama in the framework of the World Youth Days in 2019 "

For his  Mr. Jonathan Del Rosario, Minister of Security, mentioned that "The Government of Panama is pleased to support this initiative, which is not only of vital importance to inform nationals abroad in a timely manner, but also to that we see the strategic role that a country can have when it receives migrants, or even a massive influx of visitors, like the one we expect in Panama in the framework of the World Youth Days in 2019 "

MigApp was developed thanks to financial support from the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (SDC) the U.S. Department of State and the IOM Development Fund (IDF).

 Download MigApp for Android or iOS


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: cvanderlaat@iom.int