PAJPH Special Issue - Sexual and reproductive health of migrants from Venezuela and Central America

migrants waiting

In recent years, two simultaneous mass migratory regional phenomena in the Americas have been taking place as people from Central American countries and Venezuela migrate to other countries in the region. It is estimated that over 7 million Venezuelans had left their country, seeking relocation in other Latin American and Caribbean countries, primarily in Colombia, Peru, and Ecuador. Likewise, more than 700 000 individuals from Central America and Mexico were in transit seeking relocation to the United States and Canada which, given the sharp increase in the past year, may result in over 500 000 individuals requiring humanitarian assistance.

Sexual and reproductive health and rights (SRHR) are integral to health and ensuring access to these services among  migrants remains an important public health priority. Given the scarce evidence relating to SRHR and migration in the Americas, including risks of infectious diseases and health system capacity to respond, the need for context-specific and locally led evidence generation was deemed a priority for partners working on these issues. In 2019, a collaborative call for research proposals was led by the UNDP/UNFPA/UNICEF/WHO/World Bank Special Programme of ResearchDevelopment and Research Training in Human Reproduction (HRP) through the HRP Alliance for research capacity strengthening, together with the UNICEF/UNDP/World Bank/WHO Special Programme for Research and Training in Tropical Diseases (TDR), the Alliance for Health Policy and Systems Research (AHPSR), the Latin American Center of Perinatology, Women and Reproductive Health (CLAP) part of the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO), and the HRP Alliance regional research capacity strengthening hub at the Centro de Pesquisas em Saúde Reprodutiva de Campinas (CEMICAMP).

This special issue of the Pan American Journal of Public Health brings together findings from the 11 projects across eight countries (Brazil, Colombia, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, El Salvador, Guatemala, Mexico, and Peru) that received funding to use implementation research principles and to embed individual and institutional research capacity strengthening activities.