Tuberculosis and Migration

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As one of the leading causes of death worldwide TB is in the forefront of public health discussions on an international stage. The global impact of tuberculosis makes the study of TB and migration in particular a critical public health issue. MCN has been actively involved in a number of critical aspects of this discussion. We bring you the following information to highlight some of the critical global policy discussions currently underway as well as to begin to discuss these issues among those concerned with the impact of TB on the mobile underserved.

The International Union Against Tuberculosis and Lung Disease (IUATLD)

The Union has as its mission the prevention and control of tuberculosis and lung disease, as well as related health problems, on a worldwide basis, with a particular emphasis on low-income countries.

Its goal is to promote national autonomy within the framework of the priorities of each country by developing, implementing and assessing anti-tuberculosis and respiratory health programs.

MCN's Director of International Development Deliana Garcia is the current co-leader of the Trans-Border Migration and TB Working Group within IUATLD. The ongoing aims of this working group are to:

  • Collect and disseminate existing practices, policies and guidelines, and recent initiatives on trans-border TB control activities in relation to the movement of peoples from areas of high to low TB prevalence.
  • Complete the review by working group members of implementation of the recommendations from the Tuberculosis control in Europe and International Migration published in the European Respiratory Journal in 1994 (Eur Respir 1994; 7; 1545 -53) in respect to the TB control activities, guidelines and policies for migrants to their country of residence by early 2005. This will lead into the preparation of a draft manuscript giving an overview on access to care of migrants with TB for submission to the International Journal of TB and Lung Disease. In addition, the WG will draft a statement on the issue of TB in persons with undocumented residence status for submission to the TB section with the intention of it being published as an editorial statement by the Union back to back with the above-mentioned article.
  • Fully establish an electronic communication network to rapidly disseminate information of migration and TB to all interested parties. To decide on need for moderator or not, in early 2005. (Anyone interested in being a part of this network should contact Deliana Garcia)
  • Conduct a symposium on Access to TB Care for Undocumented Migrants during the 36th IUATLD World Conference on Lung Health of the IUATLD, Paris 18th - 22nd October 2005.
  • Explore the possibility of future joint activities with the TB in Prisons Work Group.