AKU and IOM will work jointly to support the governments in East and Horn of Africa in saving lives, reduce morbidity and disability
The International Organization for Migration (IOM) and the Aga Khan University (AKU) Medical College, East Africa are signing a cooperation agreement which will see the two organizations work together to improve the health and wellbeing of migrants in East and Horn of Africa.
Addressing the health of migrants is still a global challenge and in the majority of African countries, migrants and other vulnerable population are left out of national health interventions and access to health care. IOM and AKU will work jointly to support the governments in East and Horn of Africa in saving lives, reduce morbidity and disability.
Through this agreement, the two organizations intend to generate new research and strategic evidence to inform policy and programming while enhancing field practices and model of care for an integrated health care for all including migrants and other vulnerable populations. By doing this, the two organizations will support the current efforts to reach Universal Health Coverage for all.
The cooperation agreement was signed by Mohammed Abdiker, IOM Regional Director for East and Horn of Africa, Prof Lukoye Atwoli, Dean, AKU’s Medical College, East Africa and Rahim Hassan Ali, AKU Director of Finance.
“I’m confident that thorough this cooperation agreement we will strengthen the provision of health care to migrants in Kenya and in the region. In addition, benefiting from the competences of Aga Khan University, IOM will generate innovative data to help governments with migration-sensitive health policy and interventions. Both IOM and AKU have a complementary unique mandate that can advance the understanding of health aspect of migration and provide recommendations to address them,” said Mohammed Abdiker, IOM Regional Director for East and Horn of Africa.
Within their respective mandates, IOM and AKU will cooperate in the areas of secondment and deployment of medical students from the AKU to the IOM’s clinic in Eastleigh - a migrant dense area in Kenya’s capital Nairobi- as well as the other IOM clinics and Migrant Response Centres in the region; introduce migration and health related lectures, modules and courses at the university’s medical college; carry out research, generate new knowledge and share information on health trends among migrants, mobile populations and host communities. This will include analysis of existing national survey data related to demographic health surveys, disease specific registries and epidemiological surveillance.
“As an institution, we are committed to this partnership with IOM that will strengthen and promote healthcare policies and interventions for migrants towards the provision of equitable and affordable access to essential health services for refugees and migrants in the region in line with the SDGs goals,” said Prof Lukoye Atwoli, Dean, AKU’s Medical College, East Africa.
AKU’s Medical College, East Africa will also participate in the existing academia networks on migration health such as IOM’s Migration Health and Development Global Scholars Network, IOM Migration Health Research Portal and relevant regional forums to improve public-private partnerships.
The Eastleigh Community Wellness Centre in Nairobi’s Eastleigh area which is set to benefit from this agreement offers free non-discriminatory and comprehensive migrant-friendly services to both migrants and host communities including primary healthcare, comprehensive tuberculosis and HIV services, sexual and reproductive health services and maternal and child health services.