E-DETECT TB attends MERH in Edinburgh

In May, the E-DETECT TB team joined over 700 participants from 50 countries at the first World Congress on Migration, Ethnicity, Race and Health (MERH).  The congress, held in Edinburgh on 17th-19th May, represented a landmark for migrant health and encompassed various disciplines, with the aim of fostering unity and integrating dialogue on issues related to health and migration, ethnicity, race, indigenous and Roma populations.

Our team organised a workshop entitled “Integrated healthcare management for populations in transit: the case of tuberculosis” and presented results from our first 18 months of activity.

Our project has much to share in this field, as our main aim is to improve the prospects of the vulnerable population for TB in Europe.  Two of our work packages are specifically looking into TB among migrants, by direct screening activities in Italy, or by creating a unique multi-country database on TB screening among migrants.  In addition, our team has developed a digital tool for recording and reporting of data from TB screening activities in immigrants which was presented and offered for open use to other interested clinicians from European countries.

The following topics were presented at the workshop:

1) TB elimination in the EU: the E-detect TB research consortium, as a component of Horizon 2020 (Ibrahim Abubakar and Miriam Orcutt)

2) Screening for active TB in migrant populations: review of the literature and the experience of Sicily (Daniela Maria Cirillo)

3) Screening for latent TB in migrant populations: data from Northern Italy (Valentina Marchese)

4) How Information and Communication technology can support TB control in migrant populations (Anna Odone)

5) Cross-border surveillance and data sharing: the project of a multi-country latent and active TB in migrants database (Dominik Zenner)

The Congress produced a declaration, from which we quote:

“…. Attention is required to meet the needs of the most vulnerable groups including survivors of torture, trafficked people, migrants in irregular situations, refugees and asylum seekers, and to prevent violence against women and girls….”

“….The study of variations and differences in disease patterns and distributions provides essential scientific knowledge and important lessons for health policy and practice….”

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