IOM holds round table on migrants’ health

IOM, the UN Migration Agency, has organized a round table on Migrants’ Health in Libya as part of the regional project to promote the wellbeing of migrants in several countries.

The project is funded by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Finland, IOM said in a press release.

IOM said there are estimated 1.3 million people without access to healthcare throughout Libya. “With large numbers of migrants, some estimates say close to 1 million, and internally displaced persons, 226,164, the health system is facing significant challenges in providing essential health services and in monitoring the health of migrants, displaced persons and host communities, IOM said.

The UN migration agency said it is working closely with the Libyan authorities and partners in promoting medical assistance and health interventions including in detention centres, at main migrant disembarkation points for Europe and as part of voluntary humanitarian returns.

The round table discussion, held recently advanced the development of Libyan authorities’ policies on national and migrant health. It was attended by the General Director of the National Centres for Disease Control (NCDC) in Libya among other officials from the health, immigration, security and social affairs sectors. Presentations and discussions at the round table were led by IOM, the World Health Organization (WHO), the United Nations Population Fund and Ministry of Public Health representative from Thailand.

In light of the priorities established during the 70th World Health Assembly and the recommendations put forth in the 2017 Colombo Statement to promote the health of migrants globally, as well as ongoing advocacy to ensure that migration health is adequately addressed in the global compacts for refugees and migration, such multi-sectoral dialogue is key to developing and mainstreaming migration into national health policies in Libya, the press release said.

The round table is set to be followed by a training bringing together other officials from the national and regional level in order to strengthen the operational capacities relating to migrants’ health in Libya.