Poster Presentation First Malaria World Congress 2018

“Overview of mobility and universal health access - what do we know” (#403)

Shreehari Acharya 1
  1. American Refugee Committee (Malaria CSO Platform, GMS), Pathumwan, BANGKOK, Thailand

The advent of ASEAN Economic Community has increased internal and cross-border mobility between different countries in the Greater Mekong Sub-region (GMS), which poses serious threats to malaria elimination in the region. Thailand is one of the most viable destinations for labour migrants from the neighboring countries. It is estimated that Thailand hosts nearly four million migrants from Myanmar, Laos and Cambodia, with around 80% of them coming from Myanmar. Financial hardships and search for better job employment opportunities is a key driver of migration in the GMS. In Greater Mekong countries, most of the mobility with malaria risk is happening along the border. Myanmar, Cambodia and Laos have a large number of internal seasonal migrants in addition to cross-border migration. large number of an ethnic community in Myanmar and Vietnam are still living in malaria risk area with limited service access. In general, most of the mobile and migrant workers in the region work in the farm, forest, mining, construction and plantation and they are highly at risk of Malaria. GMS also faces challenges of drug resistance malaria. The underestimation of malaria might lead to re-emergence of malaria in the eliminated areas. 

Mobile and Migrant population encounter obstacles to accessing basic health care services, as the provision of health services is contingent on their legal and administrative status. Eligibility and capacity to purchase migrant health insurance is a big issue for the migrants working without a legal document, with very low wages and living with families.There is great variability in the capacity of health-care systems in the region to address migrant health. Discrimination, fear of arrest, and language is being biggest challenges to migrant population in accessing services in the region.