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Open Access An overview of tuberculosis and migration

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With nearly one billion migrants worldwide, migration is both a dynamic and a divisive phenomenon facing the world today. Migrants are a heterogeneous group, and the conditions surrounding migration pathways often pose risks to the physical, mental and social well-being of migrants, with certain subgroups being more vulnerable than others. Several determinants of health and tuberculosis (TB) interplay to increase the vulnerability of migrants to tuberculous infection, TB disease and poor treatment outcomes, making them a key population for TB. This article is the first in the State-of-the-Art series of the International Journal of Tuberculosis and Lung Disease on TB and migration. It provides an overview of migration trends, migration pathways and social determinants, and impact on TB. This article outlines a framework for the prevention and reduction of the TB burden among migrants, adapted from the World Health Organization's End TB Strategy, and in accordance with the Stop TB Partnership's Global Plan and the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) agenda. The framework highlights the need for migrant-inclusive national TB plans, and calls for action across all three pillars of the End TB Strategy for migrant-sensitive care and prevention, bold intersectoral policies and systems supportive of migrants, and operational research. More research is needed on the TB burden and challenges faced by migrants and on the feasibility and effectiveness of approaches proposed here and the scaling up of models already underway. Political commitment at the highest national and international levels will be critical to intensify action for promoting the health of migrants on the road to achieving the end TB targets.
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Keywords: End TB Strategy; Global Plan; key populations; migrants; refugees

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: 1: International Organization for Migration, Geneva 2: Global TB Programme, World Health Organization, Geneva 3: Stop TB Partnership, Geneva, Switzerland

Publication date: June 1, 2017

More about this publication?
  • The International Journal of Tuberculosis and Lung Disease publishes articles on all aspects of lung health, including public health-related issues such as training programmes, cost-benefit analysis, legislation, epidemiology, intervention studies and health systems research. The IJTLD is dedicated to the continuing education of physicians and health personnel and the dissemination of information on tuberculosis and lung health world-wide.

    Certain IJTLD articles are selected for translation into French, Spanish, Chinese or Russian. They are available on the Union website

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