PAHO convened a high-level meeting on migration and health in November 2018. It was aimed at reviewing the regional health panorama within the context of mass migrations; addressing key challenges for improving the countries’ health systems and services for migrants and host populations; identifying priority actions to address the health needs of migrants, while protecting regional gains in terms of elimination and control of endemic and epidemic-prone diseases; and discussing challenges for resource mobilization and health services financing . PAHO’s Secretariat committed to develop, in consultation with Member States, an action plan that provides guidance and establishes actions to address the health needs of migrants, both at the country level and through bilateral agreements for joint work in border areas and transition zones, as well as through sub-regional mechanisms and initiatives.
Managing migration poses public health challenges within and outside the Region and demands strong regional and international cooperation. It is paramount to continue working toward a collaborative frame-work that highlights the relationship between migration and development, and emphasizes the need to address public health circumstances and challenges affecting migrants as key to consolidating regional and national health outcomes, and overcoming obstacles to attain Universal Health and achieve the Sustainable Development Goals.