A new Hub Community explores issues in Global Health that migrants and refugees face.
Migrants and refugees are among the most vulnerable segments of our population. War, pandemics, conflicts, natural disasters, economic crises, and climate change act as triggers of human migration. It is critical that global health debates are inclusive of the impact of migration on global health, and vice versa, with a focus on policy- and research-led public and academic debate.
The Global Health Hub Germany is launching a Hub Community on “Global Health and Migration” to address various aspects of this interplay with an interdisciplinary lens. Bringing together an international team of experts from Germany and worldwide, this Hub Community aims to act as a catalyst for academic exchange, policy, and advocacy in Germany, within Europe, and globally.
Community Managers and Expert Advisory Group
The “Global Health and Migration” Hub Community is led by Sydney-based Global Health Expert and Neurologist Dr. med. Sonu M. M. Bhaskar MD PhD as the inaugural Chair along with Dr. Henna Riemenschneider MA MPH PhD, public health researcher from the Department of General Practice at the Faculty of Medicine Carl Gustav Carus at the Technische Universität Dresden, Germany.
The leadership group comprises of: Maureen McGowan, Doctoral Researcher from the Heidelberg Institute of Global Health; Infectious Disease Physician Dr. med. Elham Khatamzas MD PhD from Heidelberg University Hospital; and Pharmacist (Public/Industry) & LSHTM Global Health Policy Student Ruth Kopelke from Hamburg, Germany.
The Hub Community is supported by an expert advisory group consisting of Dr. med. Stephanie V. Taché MD, a primary care physician and public health expert in migrant care, and Prof. Dr. med. Michael Wirsching MD MPH, a leading psychiatrist from Freiburg University Medical Center, Germany.
Besides, other prominent members include Psychiatrist Dr. med. Eric Hahn MD from Charité – Universitätsmedizin Berlin, Dr. Frederik Seelig PhD, partnerships manager from the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, University of London, UK, and Eirliani Abdul Rahman, a Prajna Leadership and Julio Frenk Fellow, Harvard University, USA.
The “Global Health and Migration” Hub Community invites academics, physicians, policymakers, as well non-government organizations and think tanks to join and be a part of this movement.
Why this Hub Community?
“This community of practice offers a platform for policy and research-informed academic debate and action. Together with colleagues from Germany and around the world, I am excited about projects and initiatives we are embarking on, and ways we can positively impact the health and wellbeing of migrants and refugees – by putting this vulnerable population right at the centre of the global health debate indeed in Germany, within Europe and worldwide.” – Dr. med. Sonu M. M. Bhaskar MD PhD PD
“We should respond to the needs of refugees and migrants also by developing sustainable health care structures and workforces that are trained for public and global health issues. Health-literate health systems are crucial for access to health care, especially in vulnerable populations. The growing global health community of interdisciplinary stakeholders including migrants will enable sharing of knowledge and best practices to address these topics.” – Dr. Henna Riemenschneider MA MPH PhD
“I believe that this Hub Community is not only timely but necessary. The Ukrainian refugee crisis has once more brought forth inequities in health and migration. I believe it necessary to discuss, debate, and reflect on past refugee and migrant influxes in Europe and not only apply the lessons learned from previous crises to that of Ukraine but also to address previous policy gaps – particularly in relation to women’s health (e.g., menstrual health, sexual & reproductive health, and access to gender-based violence services).” – Maureen McGowan
“As an infectious disease physician, I am daily faced with managing different health issues of refugees and migrants within my hospital. In the global health context, I believe we need to think beyond managing crisis events and create sustainable solutions. This requires hearing the voices of these individual refugees and migrants and including them in the process on all levels at all times.” – Dr. med. Elham Khatamzas MD PhD
“Refugees are individuals with a human right to health and well-being. In my role in the public health sector, I am confronted with the first level of medical care which, in Germany, is provided quickly and non-bureaucratic. It is desirable to develop standards for the admission, early provision, and health care of migrants worldwide. In my experience, the needs of refugees vary greatly depending on the crisis they are involved in as well as their cultural, social, and economic background. However, most seem to have in common enormous invisible impairments (such as mental health or difficulties in dealing with the consequences of violence to their basic human rights), especially vulnerable groups such as children and women. Since mental well-being has direct consequences on the success of eventual integration or building a view of the host country, I see important links to further social and political issues.” – Ruth Kopelke
“Because ill-health in refugee and migrant populations often manifests as medical endpoints of more upstream causes related to broader determinants of health, using a multi-disciplinary and trans-sectoral approach to addressing issues of global health and migration can better address their root causes.” – Dr. med. Stephanie V. Taché MD
“Mental health among migrants and refugees is an important issue that merits attention and is at the heart of the overall focus of our Hub Community.” – Prof. Dr. med. Michael Wirsching MD MPH