Knowledge management project launched to better address migrant health care needs

The WHO Regional Office for Europe, Migration and Health Programme has launched an initiative to respond to knowledge gaps related to refugee and migrant health. Migration and Health Knowledge Management, or MIHKMA, is a collaborative project funded by the European Commission Directorate General for Health and Food Safety (DG SANTE) under the 3rd Health Programme, which is aimed at raising awareness, fostering and disseminating knowledge, and increasing adoption of migrant-health good practices and evidence-based approaches across European Union (EU) countries.

The Regional Office and the European Commission (EC) jointly held the project’s kick-off meeting on 19 January 2017 in Luxemburg, to share policy developments and updates on migrant health, and provide planned activities for the project. The meeting’s discussion points highlighted MIHKMA’s added value to the Region, the EU and the world.

Specific benefits of MIHKMA

MIHKMA will create a first-of-its-kind coordinated process to collect, analyse, summarize and widely disseminate best available knowledge, good practices and evidence-based approaches from the EC, WHO and other state-of-the-art migrant health initiatives and information sources. These activities will be undertaken within a broader initiative of the Regional Office, the Knowledge Hub on Health and Migration, a multi-stakeholder living platform aimed at bridging between science, policy and practice in this field.

More specifically MIHKMA will include:

  • development and delivery of distance learning webinars and associated training materials, videos, tools and resources;
  • production and implementation of a coordinated communications suite that will include technical guidance and distance learning webinars, along with their associated training materials, videos, tools and resources;
  • construction and recommended uptake of technical guidance in six priority issues of migrant health, comprising:
  • mental health
  • health promotion
  • noncommunicable diseases
  • mother and newborn health
  • child health including immunizations
  • elderly care.

Enhancing capacity to address migrants’ greatest health concerns

The technical guidance and webinar information will feature an intersectoral approach, in line with the EC and WHO policy framework principles, targeting professionals from the health and non-health sectors who deal directly with migrant health issues. Because the technical guidance and webinars will be available online and openly accessible, the tools and resources will not only benefit all countries participating in the EU Health Programme, but will also have a global impact.

Enhancing the knowledge and capacity of MIHKMA’s audiences to make better decisions in terms of adoption of evidence- based good practices (through the availability online of technical guidance and webinars) and enhanced targeting and allocation of resources to address migrant health issues, will directly benefit migrants and their families. It will also be of benefit to stakeholders working at the EU, national and regional levels to reduce and mitigate problems and challenges in migrant health issues.