IOM Tajikistan’s work in the field of migration and health is focused on five interconnected strategic functions to ensure migrants’ right to health throughout the migration process: advocacy, health policy development, health service delivery, capacity building and research & development. IOM aims to promote policies and preventive and curative health programs and services which are beneficial, accessible and equitable for vulnerable migrants and mobile populations and also meet specific needs of the Tajik government.
Public awareness-raising event dedicated to World TB Day in the Khatlon region.
During the last decade IOM Tajikistan has implemented many different health related projects, all in different ways contributing to the overall objective of improving the health of migrants and their family members. A major part of the work of is centred on capacity building of health and migration specialists as well as NGO partners, promoting health seeking behavior among migrants, developing informational and educational materials and deepening a multisectoral approach for the prevention of sexually transmitted infections, HIV and tuberculosis. In cooperation with national and foreign academic institutions research has also been carried out on migrant’s knowledge about, attitude towards and practices in relation to these diseases.
IOM advocates for migrant’s rights to adequate health treatment and migrant’s inclusion in and access to health care services. This includes both foreign migrants working in Tajikistan and Tajik citizens working abroad. Innovative approaches to achieve this, piloted by IOM Tajikistan, have been included into Tajik state national health related planning.
Tajik diaspora discussing with Tajik health authorities in a workshop held in Dushanbe on TB prevention among migrants.
Although a lot of the prevention work is carried out on a community level in Tajikistan, with outreaching field work, IOM is also involved in developing regional strategies on cross-border cooperation for improving migrant’s health. As part of this work, IOM contributed to a technical working group focusing on developing an agreement on cross-border TB control and care among migrants and their families between the Republic of Tajikistan and the Republic of Kazakhstan. The regional work also entails advocating for improved policies and cross-border collaboration and partnership between the Republic of Tajikistan and the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan as well as the Russian Federation, the main country of destination for Tajik migrants.
A national health expert conducts a training session on tuberculosis infection control for community leaders in Kulob.
Currently a big part of IOM’s migration and health work in Tajikistan is focusing on improving migrant’s access to means for TB diagnosis, treatment and care. Based on the results of a rapid situational assessment on migrants’ access to TB and TB/HIV services a number of activities have been implemented to address the revealed gaps. This includes outreach work among migrants in four target districts of the Khatlon province: Baljuvon, Danghara, Farkhor, and Temurmalik; facilitating a dialogue between the Ministry of Health and Social Protection of the Republic of Tajikistan and the Ministry of Health of the Russian Federation to improve cross-border tuberculosis controls; and extending cooperation between Tajikistan and its southern neighbour, Afghanistan. Developing informational and educational materials on tuberculosis are examples of joint international endeavours for the benefit of migrants and their hosting communities.