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Contact: Clare Weaver

Migration an overlooked health policy issue: New series

If internal and international migrants comprised a nation, it would be the third most populous country in the world, just after China and India. Thus, there can be little doubt that population mobility is among the leading policy issues of the 21st century. However, policies to protect migrants and global health have so far been hampered by inadequate policy attention and poor international coordination. This is the conclusion of a new article in PLoS Medicine arguing that current policy-making on migration and health has been conducted within sector silos, which frequently have different goals. Yet, population mobility is wholly compatible with health-promoting strategies for migrants if decision-makers coordinate across borders and policy sectors, say the authors, who are also serving as guest editors of a new series in PLoS Medicine on migration & health that launches this week.

In the first article in the series, Cathy Zimmerman, Ligia Kiss, and Mazeda Hossain from the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine (LSHTM), United Kingdom, lay out a new framework that describes migration as a multi-staged process involving numerous health risks and intervention opportunities. This migration-health framework benefits international and local policy-makers by highlighting various points for intervention and options for coordination between nations. Five subsequent articles in the series discuss in-depth the health impacts and policy needs associated with the five phases of this migratory process: pre-departure, travel, destination, interception, and return.

The second article in the series, by Brian Gushulak and Douglas MacPherson from Migration Health Consultants in Canada, is also published in this week's PLoS Medicine and discusses the specific health risks and policy needs associated with pre-departure. Subsequent articles in the series, to be published weekly until 21 June 2011, will discuss the remaining stages of the migration process.


Zimmerman, Kiss and Hossain article

Funding: No specific funding was received for writing this paper.

Competing Interests: The authors served as the guest editors of the PLoS Medicine series on Migration & Health.

Citation: Zimmerman C, Kiss L, Hossain M (2011) Migration and Health: A Framework for 21st Century Policy-Making. PLoS Med 8(5): e1001034. doi:10.1371/journal.pmed.1001034

IN YOUR COVERAGE PLEASE USE THIS URL TO PROVIDE ACCESS TO THE FREELY AVAILABLE PAPER: http://www.plosmedicine.org/article/info%3Adoi%2F10.1371%2Fjournal.pmed.1001034

CONTACT: Dr. Cathy Zimmerman
Gender Violence & Health Centre
Dept of Global Health & Development
Faculty of Public Health & Policy
London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine

Gushulak and MacPherson article

Funding: No specific funding, direct or indirect, was received for writing this article.

Competing Interests: Brian Gushulak has retired from his position with the Canadian Federal Government and is engaged in freelance consulting and teaching, while Douglas MacPherson is currently on staff with WHO in Geneva and maintains a university position in Canada. Migration Health Consultants, Inc. provides program and policy development, research, teaching, and analytical support in the field of migration, population mobility, and health. The two team members have extensive experience in government, international agency, and academic health and migration environments and have participated in integrated responses to complex global health challenges at the domestic and international level. The opinions expressed in this paper reflect those of the authors only and not any institution to which they may or may have been affiliated.

Citation: Gushulak BD, MacPherson DW (2011) Health Aspects of the Pre-Departure Phase of Migration. PLoS Med 8(5): e1001035. doi:10.1371/journal.pmed.1001035

IN YOUR COVERAGE PLEASE USE THIS URL TO PROVIDE ACCESS TO THE FREELY AVAILABLE PAPER: http://www.plosmedicine.org/article/info%3Adoi%2F10.1371%2Fjournal.pmed.1001035

CONTACT: Brian Gushulak
Migration Health Consultants, Inc
PO Box 463
Qualicum Beach
British Columbia
V9K 1S9
+1 250-594-4625

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