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Migration is worldwide phenomenon. Although it is occurred due to political, humanitarian, economic and environmental reasons, it is recognized as a part of economic development everywhere. Nowadays, more people are moving than ever before as part of such economic process. The gaps of socioeconomic development between rural and urban and countries of origin and destination are known as push and full factors of migration. Urban areas and countries of higher level of development are the attractive destinations for migrants. Previous studies have pointed out that in Asian countries the level of internal and international migration has increased. It is due to improvements in national and international transportation that facilitate human mobility easier and faster than ever before (Deshingkar, 2006; Guest, 2003; Sciortino & Punpuing, 2009; UnitedNations, 2003).
Therefore, many scholars have considerable paid attention on migration and health due to the fact that moving of people is not only across boundary but also across diseases zone. Thus, it has effect on health of both migrants and non-migrants. Migrants tend to move from relative poorer place to better social settings. Although some scholars have mentioned that migrants are not different from non-migrants in terms of biological factors for diseases susceptibilities, the social settings between place of origin and destination may be much more different (Adanu & Johnson, 2009; Carballo, 2007; Stilwell, et al., 2004).
It is believed that migrants are more likely to be more vulnerable when compare with host populations regarding diversity of biological and social reasons and changing lifestyles. Their patterns of health are associated with those new spatial and social interactions which may threaten physical and psychological health. In addition, migrants are segregated into low social position, indicating that they have higher risk of morbidity and premature mortality when compare to non-migrants, in particular those are at a high social position (Carballo, 2007; Sundquist, 2001; WHO, 2003).
The degree of migrants’ vulnerability depends on a wide variety of factors, including their legal status to their overall environment that can influence the health and well-being of migrants. One of the most important determining factors of whether migrants face barriers to accessing health services is the question of their legal status in the country (WHO, 2003). For this reason, we need to concern about migrants’ rights where laws and policies can prevent migrants from accessing social services, including health care services. At place of destination, migrants’ health is the responsibilities of the state. Therefore, it needs to prepare its staff to understand policies and strategies to work with mobile populations. It also needs to provide healthcare services that are consistent with migrants’ contexts such as culture, language, and living condition. In addition, health staff should understand related laws in order to provide appropriate health care along with moral support and concern for ethical implications(Duckett, 2001)
The International organization for Migration recommended that to achieve health equity for all should be providing prevention, disease control and healthcare services to all people living in the given country, regardless of race, nationality, religion, social identity, political beliefs, legal status, sexual orientation, age, or type of illness. Moreover, it should be the commitment to response emerging in the context of contemporary migration that calls for concerted action by all countries (IOM, 2009)
Reaching of health for all needs research results that can be translated into action at international, national and local levels, we need for more migration and health data, analysis of factors influencing health of migrants and its impact. In addition, a better understanding of the complex interrelationships between migration and health is also needed. Therefore, establishing a study center of migration and health with collaboration of interdisciplinary and international will be one of means for serving as basis for policy formulation/advocacy and prioritization of resources in this area to improve migrants’ well-being.
The overall objective of this study is to establish a study center of migration and health, focusing on internal and international migration and health. A focus of migrants’ health includes HIV/AIDS, malaria, dengue, tuberculosis, reproductive health, occupational health, children of migrants’ health and health care system. This study center is organized by the Institute for Population and Social Research, Mahidol University in collaboration with several organizations and networks in the region and outside the region.
Specific objectives include:
1. To gather evidence from results of social science research that will serve as a basis for informed advocacy and the development of sustainable health policies, implementation and evaluation of migration-related health programs
2. To provide training appropriate to integration of social sciences into research and practice in the health sciences and health professions
3. To be interdisciplinary and international studies center by building regional and inter-regional collaboration and networks
3. Study Design
The process of the studies center will be conducted in six phases. The phases of this project are foreseen as follows:
• Phase One:
A preparation phase to establish a studies center. The study team will meet to discuss and then develop the proposal and strategy for the studies center.
• Phase Two:
Building collaboration and networks, including existing and new networks. During this time, study team will submit related papers to the conferences, such as Society for Applied Anthropology and Population Association of America. The studies center also needs to seek fund for organizing session on migration and health for a meeting f the Asia Pacific Population Association which will be held in Bangkok in 2012. The goal is to strengthen the collaboration and networks in the region and inter-region.
• Phase Three:
Reviewing existing literature and gathering evidence from results of social science research that will serve as a basis for informed advocacy and the development of health policies, implementation and evaluation of migration-related health programs. A team meeting will be held to review the analysis, develop the recommendations and strategy for sustainable of studies center.
• Phase Four:
Preparation training course for appropriate to integration of social sciences into research and practice in the health sciences and health professions. A team will meet and develop training course and continuously review the training module.
• Phase Five:
Providing training course to targeted groups. During this time monitoring and evaluation will be conducted in order to develop training course
• Phase Six:
Implement the strategy for dissemination making the information more accessible to policy and program decision-makers as well as other stakeholders.
4. Study Team
The study team is interdisciplinary and international, potentially including anthropologists, economists, demographers, geographers, social scientists, epidemiologists and specialists in diseases known to be associated with migration and health.
5. Support Proposed
The Institute of Population and Social Research (IPSR) at Mahidol University will oversee the management the studies center. Funding for the first two phases of this study will be provided by the extension of project from Rockefeller Foundation. Financial support for the remaining four phases will be requested from the funders who are interested in migration and health (e.g., for instance, International organization for Migration, Global Fund, Gate Foundation, etc…)
Adanu, R. M. K., & Johnson, T. R. B. (2009). Migration and women’s health. International Journal of Gynecology and Obstetrics, 106, 179-181.
Carballo, M. (2007). The Challenge of Migration and Health. Vernier, Switzerland: International Centre for Migration and Health.
Deshingkar, P. (2006). Internal Migration, Poverty and Development in Asia: Including the Excluded. IDS Bulletin, 37(3), 88-100.
Duckett, M. (2001). Migrants’ rights to health. Geneva: UNAIDS.
Guest, P. (2003). Bridging the Gap: Internal Migration in Asia. Paper presented at the Conference on African Migration in Comparative Perspective.
IOM (2009). Healthy Migrants, Healthy Thailand: A migrants Health Program Model. Bangkok: International Organization for Migration.
Sciortino, R., & Punpuing, S. (2009). INTERNATIONAL MIGRATION IN THAILAND 2009. Bangkok: International Organization for Migration.
Stilwell, B., Diallo, K., Zurn, P., Vujicic, M., Adams, O., & Poz, M. D. (2004). Migration of health-care workers from developing countries: strategic approaches to its management. Bulletin of the World Health Organization, 82(8), 595-600.
Sundquist, J. (2001). Migration, equality and access to health care services. Journal of Epidemiology and Community Health, 55, 691-692.
United Nations (2003). Levels and Trends of International Migration to Selected Countries in Asia. New York: United Nations
WHO (2003). International Migration, Health and Human Rights (No. 4). Geneva: World Health Organization.
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