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Health examinations of child migrants in Europe: screening or assessment of healthcare needs?
Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Centre for Health Equity Studies (CHESS). Karolinska Institutet, Sweden.ORCID iD: 0000-0002-1645-2058
2019 (English)In: BMJ Paediatrics Open, ISSN 2399-9772, Vol. 3, no 1, article id e000411Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Background: More than 800 000 asylum-seeking children were registered in Europe during 2015-2017. Many of them arrived with accumulated needs of healthcare. In this study, we examined the legislation for health examinations on arrival for migrant children in the EU/EAA area.

Methods: We did a survey to child health professionals within the EU-funded MOCHA project, supplemented by desktop research of official documents.

Results: In all but three surveyed countries in the EU/EEA, there were systematic health examinations of newly settled migrant children. In most eastern European countries and Germany, this health examination was mandatory; while in the rest of western and northern Europe it was mostly voluntary. All countries that had a mandatory policy of health examinations screened for communicable diseases to protect the host population. Almost all countries with a voluntary policy also aimed to assess a child's individual healthcare needs, but this was rarely the case in countries with a mandatory policy.

Conclusion: Systematic health examinations of migrant children are routinely performed in most countries in the EU/EEA; but in many countries, it could be improved considerably by extending the focus from screening for communicable diseases to assessing and addressing individual needs of healthcare.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2019. Vol. 3, no 1, article id e000411
Keywords [en]
children’s rights, health service, infectious diseases, school health, screening
National Category
Public Health, Global Health, Social Medicine and Epidemiology
Research subject
Public Health Sciences
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:su:diva-173625DOI: 10.1136/bmjpo-2018-000411PubMedID: 30957030OAI: oai:DiVA.org:su-173625DiVA, id: diva2:1354896
Funder
EU, Horizon 2020Available from: 2019-09-26 Created: 2019-09-26 Last updated: 2019-09-30Bibliographically approved

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CiteExportLink to record
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  • apa
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