Migration Health

Healthy Migrants in Healthy Communities


To beat TB, patients must take a full course of drugs every day for at least six months. © Mikel Flamm 2013

TB mass screening training for village health volunteers and health centre staff in Phonethong District, Champasak Province, Lao PDR. © IOM 2011

Digital radiology at IOM Bangkok. © IOM 2007

An IOM staff member gives a TB awareness class to a group of Burmese refugees. © IOM 2007

A 40 year-old Somali mother of six arrives at IOM’s Eastleigh Community Wellness Centre in Kenya to collect her 18 year old son’s TB results. © IOM 2011

IOM technician Supreeya Maneekul at work in IOM’s laboratory in Mae Hong Son. © Mikel Flamm 2013

A patient's recovery is monitored at Mae Hong Son hospital where his TB was originally diagnosed. © Mikel Flamm 2013

In Colombia a TB project brought together diagnosis, timely treatment and awareness raising through advocacy, social mobilization and directly observed treatment in 46 priority municipalities. © IOM 2012

IOM Nepal has been awarded a Rana Samundra Trophy by the National Tuberculosis Center (NTC), Department of Health Service, the Ministry of Health and Population, for having introduced the molecular diagnostic tool “GeneXpert” in Nepal. Read more


World TB Day 2016 - Stories of Resilience

TB care for the forcefully displaced in South Sudan

Mary has been living in the PoC for about two years, after fleeing her home in Koch County following the conflict that broke out in South Sudan in late 2013. She is one of four wives, and a mother of three children.

An earthquake and a TB survivor in Nepal

Arjun greets the health workers at his follow-up with a warm Namaste, the wrinkles around his eyes prominently visible even with the mask covering part of his face. Then he begins describing his experience.

Syrian refugees in Lebanon

Ayham, 25 years old, from Al Ghoutah Al Sharkiya was forced to abandon his country of origin, Syria, after being arrested because of his political beliefs. He said about the journey, “It wasn't easy for me and my wife to leave everything behind.

Syrian refugees in Jordan

Abdul Kareem is a Syrian refugee, who used to live in Dara’a-Athroa’a village, with his wife and three kids. At that time, he worked as a greengrocer and as a truck driver to support his family.

The road to recovery from TB disease in South Sudan

Augustino worked as a water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH) technical supervisor for Rubkona County prior to the South Sudan conflict that began in December 2013.

Outreach TB services in urban areas of Myanmar

Aye Aye’s native region is the Ayeyrewady Delta in southern Myanmar, where she used to work as a rice paddy field labourer together with her husband. 

Extending Assistance in Indonesia

Fifty-year-old Pakistani asylum-seeker Naeem Mahmood Khan is doing his part to help those struggling with TB.

Receiving TB Services in Indonesia

A 22-year-old Pakistani national from a family of means, MH was forced to leave his country after being robbed and threatened by a local armed group where he lived.

Surviving TB Disease in Indonesia

Nineteen year old EM fled Afghanistan after being threatened by local armed group (Taliban) which had already killed his cousin.  

A TB Survivor’s Tale in Indonesia

It has been a long road back to good health, but 19-year-old Afghan refugee Ghulam Abbas is appreciative of the support he has received.


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.

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Determinants and Findings

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.

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Addressing TB among migrants: Four key building blocks

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 and TB

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.