|LETTER TO THE EDITOR
|Year : 2015 | Volume
| Issue : 1 | Page : 45-46
Exploring the impact of migration on dimensions of health: Global overview
Saurabh RamBihariLal Shrivastava, Prateek Saurabh Shrivastava, Jegadeesh Ramasamy
Department of Community Medicine, Shri Sathya Sai Medical College and Research Institute, Ammapettai, Chennai, Tamil Nadu, India
|Date of Web Publication||17-Dec-2014|
Saurabh RamBihariLal Shrivastava
Department of Community Medicine, 3rd Floor, Shri Sathya Sai Medical College and Research Institute, Ammapettai Village, Thiruporur - Guduvancherry Main Road, Sembakkam Post, Kancheepuram - 603 108, Tamil Nadu
Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None
|How to cite this article:|
Shrivastava SR, Shrivastava PS, Ramasamy J. Exploring the impact of migration on dimensions of health: Global overview. Int J Health Syst Disaster Manage 2015;3:45-6
|How to cite this URL:|
Shrivastava SR, Shrivastava PS, Ramasamy J. Exploring the impact of migration on dimensions of health: Global overview. Int J Health Syst Disaster Manage [serial online] 2015 [cited 2020 Jan 19];3:45-6. Available from: http://www.ijhsdm.org/text.asp?2015/3/1/45/147206
Owing to the impending globalization, international travel, human trafficking, weak public health care delivery system, and booming of medical tourism, a significant rise has been observed in the number of people who are migrating (local/national/international) every year. , In fact, a dynamic association has been observed between disease and migration and a sizeable impact has been observed on health related parameters (viz., types of illness, magnitude, availability of adequate number of resources, etc.). ,
A broad range of determinants ranging from community level (viz., under-development, rising trends of disease, limited education or job opportunity, socio-cultural norms, inadequate healthcare services, poor housing/water/sanitation, and history of prior migration); household and individual levels (viz., age at migration, male gender, educated individuals, familial separation, marital conflicts, avenues for education); and global health disparities, have been attributed to the rising trends of migration. , Furthermore, findings from a study revealed that the major determinants for migration were economic, followed by familial dynamics and health concerns, respectively. 
Migrants and other mobile population tend to carry the characteristics of their place and environment of origin which may affect their health status.  These migrants may introduce new or previously eradicated diseases to the region of destination, or may contract diseases which are nonexistent in their region of origin.  The phenomenon of migration tends to have a multi-dimensional impact on the age-sex distribution;  socioeconomic characteristics of a population;  treatment seeking behavior;  incidence of infectious (viz., malaria, sexually transmitted infections, etc.) and lifestyle diseases; , and housing/water supply/sanitation services.  In fact, medical screening has been recommended to quantify and record health/disease-related events in the migrant cohorts, so that the formulation of evidence-based policies; allocation of resources; and comparison with national/international data can be ensured. ,
Despite availability of confirmatory evidence to suggest the association between migration and multiple domains of health (direct/indirect), a significant number of challenges such as lack of an effective surveillance system to quantify the magnitude of migration (including the illegal human trafficking, etc.); nonexisting streamlined mechanism to ensure health screening; inadequate monetary allocation; and no mechanism/preparedness by the health system of countries to adapt to the health needs of the migrants; have been identified. ,, In fact, the migration of human population from one country to another provides a unique opportunity to the epidemiologist to assess the role of the genetic/environmental factors in the occurrence of disease in a population by assessing the health status at the time of migration and subsequently over a period of time. 
To counter the impact of migration on health dimensions, there is an immense need to formulate a holistic, long-term, evidence-based, and global healthcare policy, well-supported by international collaboration. In addition, implementation of additional measures such as ensuring sustained political commitment; screening of migrants for health ailments; sensitizing undergraduate medical students during their curriculum/public or private medical practitioners about the cross-national medical encounters; organizing training sessions for outreach workers to improve the treatment seeking behavior of migrants; facilitating delivery of culturally or linguistically sensitive programs for the prevention or treatment of illness in migrant communities; and conducting community-based studies to assess the relationship between migration and health; have been recommended to negate the negative impact of migration, especially on health. ,,,
To conclude, for ensuring the effective management of health issues resulting from population migration, a strategically planned integration of national and global health initiatives is desired to counter the concern of global health inequity.
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