IOM, with financial support from the Stop TB Partnership, yesterday (19/01) launched the world’s first dedicated TB and Migration Portal: The Knowledge Platform on Tuberculosis and Migration (tbandmigration.iom.int).
The portal, created by IOM’s Migration Health Division (MHD), aims to offer a platform through which global partners are able to access and share the latest information, research and knowledge on TB and migration issues, to improve the assistance and the support IOM provides to its beneficiaries worldwide.
Tuberculosis is one of the world’s main health challenges with 9 million new cases and nearly 1.5 million deaths reported each year. TB patients are often marginalized and discriminated against.
“It was tough,” testified a Pakistani national and TB patient treated by IOM, who migrated to Indonesia. “I really felt alone because I didn’t feel like I could talk to anybody about the condition. Some of my friends who know were scared to be near me. I tried to minimize talking and coughing when people were around so nobody else got sick. However, after starting the treatment, my condition improved significantly.”
“At the Stop TB Partnership, our mandate is to work closely with and support our partners in our collective efforts to end TB globally. To achieve this goal, TB and migration must continue to get as much global attention as possible. The TB and Migration Portal will be an important part of the Global Plan to End TB 2016-2020,” said Dr. Lucica Ditiu, Executive Director of the Stop TB Partnership.
The platform will offer a comprehensive and up-to-date overview on TB and migration, providing a one-stop service website to promote new research, exchange information and dialogue, with a view to filling the existing data, research and knowledge gaps on TB and migration.
It will constantly provide updated information about related events and conferences worldwide, and cross promote the latest news from partners. It will also collate the main publications on the topic and facilitate contact with experts.
The Working Group on TB and Migration is one of several such groups established under the TB section of the International Union against Tuberculosis and Lung Disease (IUATLD), which offers an opportunity for its members to collaborate with each other on TB-related research, publications and projects.
“IOM hopes to engage more partners in this long-term project,” said Dr. Davide Mosca, Director of IOM’s Migrant Health Division. “This could turn the portal into an official platform for the TB and Migration Working Group, facilitating online discussions and engagement among various stakeholders and generating better policies and cooperation among different actors.”