To beat TB, patients must take a full course of drugs every day for at least six months. © Mikel Flamm 2013
Migrants are a key affected population in the global fight against TB, as there are health determinants of TB infection at all points of the migration process.
IOM is focused on implementing key actions in migrant health monitoring, strengthening migrant-sensitive health systems, developing conducive policy frameworks, and strengthening multisectoral partnerships that address migrants’ vulnerability to TB.
Measurement and analysis of TB burden among migrants
Robust migrant-sensitive health systems for an effective TB response
Intersectoral policy and legal frameworks – Health-in-all-policies approach
Networks and multi-country partnerships with common goals
IOM’s migrant health assessments programme provides a comprehensive range of TB screening related services, including physical examinations, radiological investigation, tuberculin skin test, sputum smear and culture, drug susceptibility testing (DST) and directly observed treatment (DOT). TB treatment is provided either directly by IOM or through a referral system, in partnership with national tuberculosis programmes (NTPs). IOM also provides TB services and care for groups such as labour migrants, undocumented workers and displaced people through its health promotion and emergency health operations.
Between 2002 and 2014, IOM examined more than 2.6 million refugees and economic migrants. In 2014 alone, close to 321,000 migrant health assessments were conducted in 77 countries worldwide, primarily in those classified as mid- and high-tuberculosis burden. Out of these assessments, a total of 953 persons were identified as active TB cases or, an equivalent of 297 cases per 100,000 people. TB detection was higher in 2014 among refugees (382 per 100,000) compared to economic migrants (259 per 100,000), and refugees were about 1.5 times more likely to be detected with active TB than economic migrants. The difference was thought to be linked to poorer health and nutritional status, as well as living and socioeconomic conditions of refugees.