Within its Migration Health Division, the International Organization for Migration (IOM) delivers and promotes comprehensive, preventive and curative health programmes which are beneficial, accessible, and equitable for migrants and mobile populations. Bridging the needs of both migrants and IOM’s member states, the Migration Health Division contributes towards the physical, mental and social well-being of migrants, enabling them and host communities to achieve social and economic development.
In recent years there has been significant progress in advancing the migration health agenda. The 61st World Health Assembly Resolution Health of Migrants 61.17, adopted in May 2008, calls upon governments to promote the health of migrants through policies and programmes. Guided by the World Health Assembly Resolution, the International Organization for Migration, the World Health Organization and the Government of Spain organized a Global Consultation on the Health of Migrants in March 2010. Four key priorities materialized from the consultation which umbrellas IOM’s global approach to migration and health:
- Monitoring migrant health
- Policy and legal framework
- Migrant sensitive health systems
- Partnerships, networks and multi-country frameworks
MHD in Tanzania
IOM’s migration health interventions include activities in the Partnership on Health and Mobility in Southern and Eastern Africa (PHAMESA) program and the provision of services for migration health assessments, travel assistance and health promotion and assistance for migrants.
The PHAMESA regional programme offers a comprehensive public health approach, addressing health concerns that particularly affect migrants and mobile populations with focus on HIV prevention, treatment and care, and related conditions like TB and reproductive health.IOM’s Partnership for Health and Mobility in East and Southern Africa (PHAMESA) aims to improve the management of migration health and reduce migrants’ vulnerability to HIV by responding to their health needs throughout all phases of the migration process.
PHAMESA focuses primarily on Labour Migrants and Mobile Workers, Forced Migrants, and Irregular Migrants in the context in which they live and work, including their families and host communities as well. More information regarding PHAMESA is available at: http://tanzania.iom.int/programmes/migration-health/phamesa
Under the PHAMESA project, IOM is a recognized partner in key coordination structures such as the:
- Technical Working Group (TWG) on TB in the Mining Sector
- TWG of Tanzanian AIDS Commission on HIV in Mining
- National Inter-Ministerial Coordination Group on Ebola Prevention
The following activities were carried out under the PHAMES project in 2015:
- Attendance of meetings with key coordination structures and government departments such as the Ministry of Health and Social Welfare
- Facilitation of quarterly meetings of the TWG on TB in the Mining Sector
- Launch of the ‘Health Vulnerabilities of Mobile Populations and Affected Communities at the Port of Dar es Salaam, Tanzania’. More information available at: https://tanzania.iom.int/press-releases/fighting-tuberculosis-mining-sector-iom-and-ministry-health-and-social-welfare-launch
- World Aids Day events. More information available at: https://tanzania.iom.int/press-releases/iom-tanzania-targets-health-mobility-and-hiv-prevention-world-aids-day
- International Migrants Day event: https://tanzania.iom.int/press-releases/iom-celebrates-international-migrants-day-tanzania-and-commemorates-lives-migrants
- Collaboration with the Muhimbili University in the area of developing a research agenda on Migration in Tanzania
Services to Migrants
Aside from undertaking health assessments for resettled refugees, since 2005 IOM has also been providing pulmonary tuberculosis (TB) screening for individuals applying for a visa to the United Kingdom for a stay of more than six months upon the request of the UK Immigration Authorities in London (coordinated with the Health Department). Applicants register at IOM Tanzania, get tested for TB off site and return their results to IOM Tanzania. Chest x-rays are required by all applicants with the exception of pregnant women and children under the age of 11 years. If an applicant is diagnosed with infectious TB, they are referred for treatment.
Under CANVAC, IOM also assists individuals with the application procedures for three short terms Canadian visa types: visitor, student and work. The office acts as a bridge between applicants and the Canadian embassy by assisting applicants with paperwork and submission.