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Re-Health final conference took place
on 15 May 2017 in Brussels

The RE-HEALTH project is a new and multidisciplinary action that allows the establishment of new relationships between doctors, mediators and migrants to ensure migrants' and refugees' health assessment.

Representatives from the European Commission, DG SANTE, DG HOME and Chafea, national and local authorities from Italy, Croatia, Cyprus, Greece, Serbia and Slovenia participated in the event as well as the respective IOM Country Offices, NGOs such as Doctors without Borders and other stakeholders.

Some remarks from the event:

  • “This new multidisciplinary project allows the establishment of new relationships between doctors, mediators and migrants. It represents a good practice. If we are able to use the Electronic Personal Health Record as a tool at national level, it will be revolutionary!” and
  • “We haven’t encountered migrants refusing PHRs as they see its value for managing their health. They realize they could visit a doctor where an interpreter isn’t available and the PHR will help them. Word has spread and we have migrants asking us for a date and time to do their E-PHR.”


More information about Re-Health results:

The Re-Health is a direct grant agreement for the International organisation for Migration (IOM), funded by the Health Programme 2014-2020 under the Annual work plan 2015, aiming to provide support to EU Member States under migratory pressure and to help them address health-related issues of arriving migrants, follow up and continuity of care.

RE-HEALTH was launched in February 2016 by the Migration Health Division of the IOM Regional Office in Brussels.  The aim of RE-HEALTH is to establish links between key reception areas of refugees and migrants and the health systems of the Southern and Eastern EU Member states.

This has been achieved by the expansion of use of the Personal Health Record (PHR) and the accompanying Handbook for Health Professionals (HPs), used to assess the health status and needs of arriving refugees and migrants in Europe.  The PHR is an instrument designed to ensure that health assessments and preventive measures are implemented, taking into account the needs of children, women and other vulnerable groups.

Between October 2016 and May 2017 over 2.050 health assessments have been registered, with informed consent of refugees and migrants, in four EU countries (Italy, Greece, Slovenia and Croatia). The preliminary results show that over 500 migrants have been assessed as victims of torture and violence and more than 350 persons have been affected by significant medical conditions.

The EU MS authorities responsible for the health of refugees and migrants, have worked in close collaboration with the IOM (International organisation for migration) country offices in the field, in order to establish a network of Health Mediators. Health mediators or interpreters have been recruited by EU MS national authorities and trained by IOM in collaboration with partner organizations.

The health mediator's main task is to interpret and explain the process and benefits of undergoing a health assessment to refugees and migrants, in a language they can understand. 

More than 150 mediators attended Re-Health trainings on Health Mediation, learning how to promote the use of the e-PHR platform and topics of relevance as Gender Based Violence and Reproductive Health. The acceptance of the e-PHR by migrants and health professionals was high (93%), even when some refugees and migrants feared early removal as the implementation sites are pre-removal centres.