Malaria in migrants and mobile populations

Over the past decades, many countries have achieved substantial reductions in their malaria burden. In some of these countries, malaria is now limited to remote, forested areas, and malaria cases among migrants and mobile populations represent a high percentage of the total number of cases.

Progress towards malaria elimination in these countries will require improved access to health services for these groups. In countries where malaria has been eliminated, ministries of health need to ensure that migrants, refugees and mobile populations have adequate access to prevention interventions.

A special focus on migrants, refugees and mobile populations is warranted for another reason, too: these groups often seek treatment from unregulated, private vendors, increasing their risk of exposure to substandard drugs or oral artemisinin-based monotherapies.

Artemisinin resistance containment programmes in Cambodia, Myanmar, Thailand and Viet Nam include special interventions focusing on migrants, such as targeted insecticide-treated bed net distribution campaigns, the establishment of screening points, and the provision of diagnostic testing and treatment services at work-sites.

Last update: 6 March 2013

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