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Forced Migration Review ; 67:33-35, 2021.
Article in English | CAB Abstracts | ID: covidwho-2046152

ABSTRACT

Significant variations in access to fundamental public health services during the COVID-19 epidemic have been revealed by recent study conducted in a number of different nations. States have an obligation to apply what they have learned from the present pandemic to remove existing obstacles. In many aspects, the COVID-19 pandemic fostered cooperation across nations and within communities in an effort to address dangers to the public's health and lessen the socioeconomic effects of the virus. Some good practices have emerged as a result of extensive advocacy and engagement with governments by a variety of actors. These include expanding free access to COVID-19 testing, treatment, and vaccines for all migrants, regardless of status, and allowing stranded migrants and those without visas to access basic services. They must consider the impact of this extraordinary situation and global public health emergency on those who continue to face barriers to accessing basic services, such as COVID-19 vaccines, as well as how this intersects with both individual and public health, even though these policy developments are to be welcomed, championed, and replicated. Public health initiatives could be jeopardized by enduring access impediments as well as fresh difficulties brought on by movement restrictions and lockdowns. National Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies conducted the study in eight nations: Australia, Colombia, Egypt, Ethiopia, the Philippines, Sudan, Sweden, and the UK (and data from the Sahel region was also taken into consideration). The findings suggest that, in order to end the pandemic and guarantee that everyone has the chance to receive assistance in a respectful and supportive manner, inclusive approaches for connecting with and supporting migrants and refugees must be incorporated into national and local pandemic preparedness, response, and recovery plans. Public health hazards will persist if inclusive policies are not accompanied by operational guidelines to overcome barriers in practice.

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