Supporting migrant mothers and children in the anthropocene through UHC

Meeting Organizer

Ministry for Foreign Affairs, Sweden


WHO's Alliance for Health Policy and Systems Research


Public Health Agency of Sweden

Contact Person : Peter Friberg,

28 January 2020
14:00 - 17:30 hrs.
Venue : Lotus Suite 11

Open to All Participants


Aim: Highlighting the burden on migrant mothers and children by climate change, and the importance of UHC. Mitigating current and future changes to Earth’s complex climate system has rightfully earned a central position on global policy agendas. The Sustainable development goals (SDGs) target many aspects of human health and well-being and they are inter-connected in a complex adaptive system. Failure to meet SDG 13 (climate action), threatens UHC by changing and increasing the burden of both communicable and non-communicable diseases, and challenges already fragile health systems in many low and middle-income countries. One increasing challenge is that the number of displaced people due to climate change is predicted to be around 150 million by 2050 societies’, successful adaptation to a changing climate is paramount to secure health of their most vulnerable, mothers and children. Ensuring that populations can access health services of good quality is difficult in many settings. However, because of many reasons, delivering UHC to a migratory population is even more challenging. Most important, perhaps is delivery of care which is culturally sensitive. As a central tenant of the 2030 Agenda, the principle of leaving no one behind must drive efforts to reach those hit hardest by our species’ relentless exploitation of our home planet, including targeting mothers and children specifically not least in the migratory population. It also emphasizes the importance of intersectoral partnerships between governments, business and civil society – systems thinking. Placing children at the centre of the SDGs harnesses the integrated nature of the SDGs. A [health] systems approach is a useful starting point but demands careful planning, designing, and implementation, especially while encompassing commercial, political and social determinants of health. You are invited to contribute with your ideas and experience. As in health systems issues in general, context sensitivity will be a challenge. However, we suggest to focus on the following: • How do we deal with the triple nexus of climate, health and migration, and how can UHC encompass also migrant mothers and children? • What are the policy and implementation challenges for UHC targeting migrant mothers and children? • What are the pathways including good examples for intersectoral action? • What are the knowledge gaps and research priorities? Preliminary agenda 5 min Introduction, Göran Tomson (moderator) 20 min Key note speech: Climate change and health, Associate Professor Maria Nilsson, Umeå university and Lancet Countdown on Climate Change and Health (15 min incl. Q&A) 10 min Global Child Health and Maternal Health in the context of UHC Johan Dahlstrand (10 min incl. Q&A) 10 min Achieving the right to health and healthcare for migrant mothers and children, Juan Santander, Deputy Representative, UNICEF, (10 Min incl. Q&A) 15 min Education migrant children – the case of Thailand Dr Titiporn Tuangrattananon, Ministry of Public Health, Thailand (15 min incl. Q&A) 30 min Coffee break 10 min Applying systems thinking to achieve UHC for migrant mothers and children Abdul Ghaffar, CEO Alliance Health Policy and Systems Research, WHO. (10 min incl. Q&A) 10 min Reflections from the Public Health Agency of Sweden, Anders Tegnell, Head of Dept., Public Health Agency of Sweden 50 min Group work, including introduction Multidisciplinary groups, including ideally one decision-maker per group Based on the presentations and individual expertise/experience, discuss how best to facilitate intersectoral collaboration and successful integration of migrant services within existing health systems. Here the principles of UHC, namely access to health promotion, disease prevention and curative care as well as financial protection should be addressed. Each group will summarise recommendations to be presented in plenary. Both existing evidence to be implemented as well as areas of needed research should be addressed. 45 min Reporting and discussion (45 min) 5 min Reflections and way forward Göran Tomson (5 min)


Exploring barriers and enablers regarding access to UHC for migrant mothers and children, as well as tools to involve researchers and decision-makers for improvements Target audience: ideally researchers representing different disciplines, and decision-makers