209521 Linkage between workforce migration and emerging communicable diseases in South Asia: The need for a regionally integrated public health initiative

Tuesday, November 10, 2009: 3:24 PM

Mohammad Rahman, PhD , Department of Public Health, California State University, Fresno, Fresno, CA
Migration plays an essential role in today's globalized economy; but the increased flow of migration gives rise to concerns for the health of not only the people who are mobile, but also for the general populace with which they are affiliated with. The public health concern that stems out of international migration is of particular relevance for countries in South Asia where millions of both skilled and unskilled workers cross international borders every year. The objective of this paper is to discuss the linkages of health and migration in the context of South Asia. The study analyzes migration and communicable disease data obtained from secondary sources including International Organization for Migration, the WHO and Ministries of Labor and Health of several South Asian countries (including Bangladesh, India, Pakistan and Sri Lanka) and maps the potential risk of the spread of emerging communicable diseases in this region. The finding from the analysis shows that there are substantial risks of spreading infectious diseases in the manner the migration process is currently handled in all these countries. It was found that accessing health care services by the migrants in host countries and after their return to home are inadequate for most migrants, particularly the poor. Several reasons for this inadequacy have been discussed. The study proposes emulating evidenced-based procedures that are followed worldwide in preventing the spread of communicable diseases. It also underscores the need for human capacity development and adoption of a regionally integrated initiative towards managing migration to protect public health.

Learning Objectives:
Analyze the risk of spreading communicable diseases from migration of workers from South Asia Explain the need for human capacity development and the formulation of a regionally integrated migration health management system for South Asia

Keywords: Communicable Disease, Migrant Health

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: Currently engaged in teaching public health and conducting research in this field
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.