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Symposium on Public Health: Challenges of Forced Migration

Location: Munich, Germany

Date: 19.03.2016


There has been an unprecedented exodus of citizens of countries of the middle east especially Syria as a result of armed conflicts. This has led to a huge global refugee crisis. Europe is a major destination for these refugees and Germany is one of the receiving countries with the highest influx of refugees. Most receiving countries have had their emergency contingency services overwhelmed by this influx. The health implications of forced migration are multiple and multi-dimensional. Receiving counties face huge challenges in coping with all the dimensions of this challenge. Despite concerted efforts and somewhat very good level of preparedness by receiving countries, gaps appear to exist in all facets of the forced migration health issues. New and unexpected challenges are thrown up by the suddenness and the enormity of refugee problems. Old diseases that have been eradicated in Europe may now have the opportunity to make a comeback. Physicians working in Europe may not have been so well exposed to the pattern of health problems that may accompany the refugees. The existing healthcare system in host countries might not have been primed well enough for these challenges. Additional resources will need to be injected in order to tackle these health issues in a proactive and preventive manner. Native populations in host countries need to be protected from health issues arising from the refugee crisis. In the face of these enormous challenges, it becomes obvious that new ideas will need to be injected into the planning and execution of healthcare delivery to both the receiving populations and the incoming migrants. This symposium is structured to address these issues with a comprehensive and practical approach. The symposium will contribute to the ongoing global discourse on forced migration and humanitarian crisis. It is expected that the symposium will attract a wide audience from the academia, media, non-governmental organizations, government agencies and healthcare providers.


Topics and Speakers

  • Global Migration in the 21st Century: Exploring the intertwined dynamics between conflict and health
    Prof. Bayard Roberts, London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, United Kingdom.
  • Disease Patterns and Distribution Among Asylum Seeker
    Dr. Med. Sabine Vygen, Robert Koch-Institut, Germany
  • Migrants’ demands for health services in host European countries
    Marion Chenevas, Doctors of the World, Germany
  • Infectious diseases and migration: The case of tuberculosis
    Dr. med. Florian Neuhann, University of Heidelberg, Germany
  • Healthcare for Migrants in Germany: The Refudocs Concept
    Dr. med. Mathias Wendeborn, Refudocs, Germany
  • Experiences of Doctors of the World with refugees in transit in Germany
    Dr. med. Hans Stubbe, Doctors of the World, Germany
  • Personal Experiences of Asylum Seekers
    Migrant Speaker, Syria

Panel discussion

Myths and facts about forced migrants


Detailed Program (PDF 460 KB)

Symposium Poster (PDF 1,38 MB)