Saturday, July 3, 2010

Egypt / Promoting Good Health Practice among Cairo Migrant Communities

CAIRO, Egypt, June 29, 2010/African Press Organization (APO)/ — IOM Press Briefing Notes

IOM in partnership with Caritas held on 25 June the fourth Health in Motion event, which aims to raise awareness of health issues among the migrant community in the Greater Cairo metropolitan area.

Friday’s event, held at College de la Salle in downtown Cairo, saw IOM-trained Iraqi community health volunteers conduct sessions related to maternal child health.

In addition, IOM-trained Sudanese community mobilizers organized small workshops related to influenza prevention and response, promoting good hygiene as a pre-emptive measure against various forms of influenza, as well as prevention tactics for many communicable diseases.

Doctors from the NGO Caritas also conducted information sessions to promote good nutrition, along with glucose and blood pressure tests in response to the high rates of chronic disease within Cairo’s migrant population.

Members of local migrant communities attended the event and benefited from information sessions on a wide range of health topics, including HIV/AIDS, nutrition, influenza and maternal and child health.

Over the past year, a number of similar events have been organized with Caritas and the NGO Refuge Egypt in various suburbs of Cairo, which are home to large numbers of refugees and migrants from Iraq, Sudan, Eritrea and Somalia.

While migrants have access to a range of governmental and non-governmental primary healthcare providers, barriers such as the fear of seeking medical assistance for undocumented migrants, can result in negative impacts on the health of people.

The Health in Motion initiative is part of a wider IOM migration health programme that promotes peer-to-peer exchange, building the capacity of migrant leaders to raise awareness on relevant health issues, as well as identifying available healthcare service providers within their own communities.

The US Department of State Bureau for Population, Refugees and Migration (PRM) and USAID through the Central Fund for Influenza Action funds this initiative.

SOURCE: International Office of Migration (IOM)