WHO and Ministry of Health assess health system capacity to manage large migration in Albania

WHO/Matteo Dembech

From 29 September to 3 October 2015, WHO/Europe and the Ministry of Health of Albania conducted a joint assessment to analyze the country's current capacity to manage a potential large influx of refugees and migrants.

The Ministry of Health asked WHO for assistance to review its health system to fill potential gaps and strengthen preparedness measures due to:

  • the geographical location of Albania;
  • the current high number of refugees and migrants transiting through south-eastern European countries; and
  • the changing nature of the migration routes.

The team comprised the Adviser to the Minister of Health on migration, the Chief Medical Officer, the national International Health Regulations focal point of the Institute of Public Health, the focal point at the Ministry of Health for emergencies and various WHO experts on public health and migration.

Meetings were organized with the Minister of Health, the Deputy Minister of Health, the Deputy Ministry of Interior, national representatives of the health and the interior ministries, and other United Nation agencies. Field visits and interviews with local authorities took place in Gjirokastra (Kakavia border point) and Saranda (Qafebota border point/Konispol).

A joint report will be made public soon with:

  • findings from the assessment
  • identification of potential gaps where technical assistance can be provided
  • recommendations
  • best practices.