Date(s) - 20/10/16
10:00 am - 6:00 pm
On 20 October 2016, the Maastricht University Global Health and European Public Health programmes will again organise the Annual Symposium on Global and European Health. This year’s central topic is Transnationality and Health: Migrants between Vulnerability and Resilience.
Although migration is an ongoing phenomenon of all times, due to the continued wars, violence and persecution in countries such as Syria, Iraq and Eritrea, as well as conditions such as drought, poverty and economic misery in sub-Saharan Africa, more people than ever are leaving their homes, living in exile and seeking for asylum in the wealthier countries of the world. Refugees and migrants that succeed to legally or illegally pass the many ever-increasing barriers that are put in place to contain the arrival of more people, generally find a place to live that is safer and has better living conditions than the places they left. Sometimes, however, migrants, especially those without documents, end up in a situation that is even worse than the situation they fled. Furthermore, even when their situation has improved, most of these newcomers are worse off than the general populations in the host countries. Migrants are more often jobless, their housing conditions are worse and they suffer more from ill health.
In the healthcare sector, migrants’ vulnerability for health risk is often ‘culturalized’. Cultural beliefs concerning illness, cultural determined eating patterns and a poor understanding of the health care system are considered to be the factors that make that migrants deal less effectively with health and disease and as a result are unhealthier than the general population. Research shows, however, that vulnerability for health risk in migrant populations is much more complex than mere cultural difference, and rather the result of many interacting structural processes.
Although it is important to address these inequalities in health and in opportunities, especially the more structural causes of ill health and poverty, an exclusive focus on vulnerability overlooks the resilience of certain migrant communities. Especially after a longer period of time and for second generation migrants (who actually are no migrants at all), transnational ties and resources can bring new opportunities as well.
These and other questions will be the central focus of the 6th Annual Global and European Health Symposium. The debate will be enlightened by the views from our guest speakers, with backgrounds in research, policy making, and NGOs and will be an excellent opportunity to exchange ideas and solutions. The Catherina Pijls key note lecture will be provided by Dr. Kristina Krause, Anthropology of Health, Care and the Body, University of Amsterdam. Further contributions include: Dr Isabel de la Mata, Principal Advisor for Health and Crisis Management, European Commission and Dr. Michaela Vanore, research fellow on migration and development at the Maastricht Graduate School of Governance/UNU-MERIT.
Supported by the Master Global Health programme, the Master European Public Health programme, the Bachelor European Public Health programme, FHML, Maastricht University and the Catharina Pijls Foundation (the Foundation aims to promote Health Sciences in a broad sense and awards prizes for the best PhD and Masters).