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Migration and Health Training for Health Professionals held on 3-4 November 2016 in Heidelberg, Germany

Upon request by the Heidelberg University Hospital, IOM MHD RO Brussels in collaboration with IOM MHD HQ and IOM Mental Health and Psychosocial Response carried out a Training for health professionals working with migrants, asylum seekers and refugees on the 3-4 November 2016 in Heidelberg, Germany.

In cooperation with the Department of General Practice and Health Services Research, the Institute of Public Health at Heidelberg University Hospital and the support of the Ministry of Science, Education and Research Baden-Württemberg, IOM MHD delivered a 2-day training course based on the IOM Equi-Health project training materials, previously developed within the project as a set of interactive educational materials on migration and border management including information on migration, health and cultural competence for health professionals and law enforcement officers. The training materials have been previously used in Equi-Health implemented activities, including regional peer reviews, trainings of trainers (ToT), and roll out sessions on migration and health to enhance the capacity of the law enforcement authorities and medical personnel in the Southern EU Member States to deliver better quality medical services for migrants.

The training course had the objective to improve the knowledge of health professionals on the public health implications of migration as well as strengthening the responsiveness of health services to migrants’ specific needs.

The 2 sessions allowed participants, mostly health professionals including medical practitioners, health students, public health practitioners from the University as well as representatives from local health authorities, to explore several important concepts on health care and health mediation for migrants and refugees, including an overview of the global and EU migration trends and key concepts in public health and migration. Specifically, the sessions covered relevant topics concerning migration and health, particularly on mental health and psychological aspects of migration, occupational health, vulnerable groups, communicable and non-communicable diseases and health risk factors, as well as cultural diversities and conflict mediation.

The training on migration and health for health professionals comes as a result of a constructive collaboration between IOM MHD RO Brussels and the University of Heidelberg, initiated within the ECDC project, ‘Scoping study on infectious disease health services for refugees and asylum seekers in Europe’, on the collection of relevant information on the availability and provision of communicable disease services to refugees and asylum seekers in six EU member states.

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