Migration Health Division
Since the establishment of IOM’s mission in Egypt in 1991, the Migration Health Division (MHD) provides assistance to migrants.
The first part of MHD’s work consists of assisting main countries of destination with the resettlement of migrants of different origins.
IOM’s medical team thus carries out the full range of health assessments required for the resettlement process of the five main destination countries: Australia, Canada, New Zealand, the United Kingdom, and the United States.
The full health assessment provided under MHD’s auspices includes registration, counselling, getting refugees’ consent for the assessment, nursing operations (including recording of the refugees’ medical history), physical examinations, phlebotomy/lab services, radiology imaging, and immunization.
Additionally, pre-departure medical screenings and presumptive treatment are also administered for applicants based on each country’s relevant guidelines.
In parallel, MHD provides immigrant health assessments for self-paying Egyptians travelling to any of the five main countries of destination listed above.
Staff responsible for providing refugees with these services include a chief medical officer, national panel physicians, nurses, lab technicians, radiographers, and administrative and support staff.
The second part of MHD’s work consists of the provision of medical assistance to migrants in Egypt. This includes assessing and following up on migrants’ health status through medical examinations, as well as referring them to specialized services where appropriate – for instance in the case of survivors of sexual and gender-based violence or victims of trafficking. IOM, through MHD, also assumes the cost of medical bills, hospital stays and medication for migrants based on need.
Part of this work is done through the Assisted Voluntary Return and Reintegration (AVRR) program, where MHD provides health screenings to migrants who wish to return to their country of origin. MHD assesses their fitness for flight, procures medication to returnees based on needs, and coordinates with the IOM mission in the country of origin to secure medical interventions, follow-ups, and surgical operations when necessary.
Migrants availing themselves of IOM’s assistance under the auspices of AVRR who are in government holding facilities are also provided with dignity kits, non-food items, and medication according to need.
MHD’s medical team further intervenes when emergencies concerning migrants arise, acting as first responders and coordinating hospital admissions and the subsequent treatment plans.
MHD also conducts outreach activities in host and migrant communities, including awareness-raising sessions on nutrition, basic hygiene, and infection prevention. Additionally, community-level interventions include trainings for community workers, peer educators and medical care-givers to enhance their capacity to provide quality medical and psychological care.
Finally, in line with UN Sustainable Development Goal 17 Partnerships for the Goals, MHD implements projects in partnership with governments, NGOs, and the private sector to further improve the quality of health services provided to host and migrant communities in Egypt.