5. Migration and Health

Migration and health are deeply connected. On the micro-level, the level of individual migrants and the members of their immediate networks, past research has assessed how migrants can act as epidemiological bridges and can expose the family in the home countries to illnesses contracted abroad. Other research has assessed how both financial and social capital (monetary and social remittances) can improve the health outcomes of migrants and their families by enabling greater expenditures on health inputs or helping individuals make more informed health decisions. On the meso-level, the level of communities and institutions, the link between migration and health can involve health systems and how migrants navigate them transnationally or cross-culturally, particularly when it comes to organising the care of origin-country kin from the destination country. On the macro-level, the level of societies and policies, migration can represent either a challenge or a boon to the resilience or adequacy of healthcare infrastructure; it can undermine the efficiency of systems when doctors and nurses who have been locally educated work abroad, but it can also bolster it with programmes that encourage the (temporary) return of skilled nationals. Migration policies can also inadvertently address health and healthcare systems, particularly when it concerns that active recruitment and foreign deployment of healthcare workers. These potential links are just a few among many, and they highlight the many complex ways in which migration interacts with personal health and well-being, healthcare institutions and infrastructures, and health policy. Within this research line, migration and health are explored across these different levels.

Contact: Michaella Vanore and Inez Roosen


  • Related publications

    Mahé, Clotilde , 2017, Does publicly provided health care affect migration? Evidence from Mexico, UNU-MERIT Working Paper 2017-049
    Constant, Amelie, 2017, The healthy immigrant paradox and health convergence, UNU-MERIT Working Paper 2017-044
    Constant, Amelie, Teresa García-Muñoz, Shoshana Neuman & Tzahi Neuman, 2016, A 'healthy immigrant effect' or a 'sick immigrant effect'? Selection and policies matter, UNU-MERIT Working Paper 2016-051
    Akay, Alpaslan, Olivier Bargain & Klaus F. Zimmermann, 2016, Home sweet home? Macroeconomic conditions in home countries and the well-being of migrants, UNU-MERIT Working Paper 2016-038
    Cebotari, Victor, Valentina Mazzucato & Melissa Siegel, 2016, `Child development and migrant transnationalism: the health of children who stay behind in Ghana and Nigeria, Journal of Development Studies, 53, More information
    Vanore, Michaella, Valentina Mazzucato & Melissa Siegel, 2014, `‘Left behind’ but not left alone: Parental migration & the psychosocial health of children in Moldova, Social Science & Medicine, 132, More information
    McGregor, Elaine, 2014, Executive Summary, Mid-Term Evaluation of Promoting Decent Work Across Borders: A Pilot Project for Migrant Health Professionals and Skilled Workers (INT/09/11/EEC)
    Lie, Ann Louise, 2012, The effects of international emigration and return of Georgian migrants upon the spread of infectious diseases in the republic of Georgia, Report for the EC Migration and Asylum Thematic Program funded project: The effects of migration in Moldova and Georgia on children and elderly left behind, More information