Prevention and treatment of infectious diseases in migrants in Europe in the era of universal health coverage

Lancet Public Health. 2022 Oct;7(10):e876-e884. doi: 10.1016/S2468-2667(22)00174-8. Epub 2022 Aug 26.


Some subpopulations of migrants to Europe are generally healthier than the population of the country of settlement, but are at increased risk of key infectious diseases, including tuberculosis, HIV, and viral hepatitis, as well as under- immunisation. Infection screening programmes across Europe work in disease silos with a focus on individual diseases at the time of arrival. We argue that European health-care practitioners and policy makers would benefit from developing a framework of universal health care for migrants, which proactively offers early testing and vaccinations by delivering multi-disease testing and catch-up vaccination programmes integrated within existing health systems. Such interventions should be codeveloped with migrant populations to overcome barriers faced in accessing services. Aligning policies with the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control guidance for health care for migrants, community-based preventive health-care programmes should be delivered as part of universal health care. However, effective implementation needs appropriate funding, and to be underpinned by high-quality evidence.

Publication types

  • Review
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Communicable Diseases* / epidemiology
  • Communicable Diseases* / therapy
  • Europe / epidemiology
  • Humans
  • Transients and Migrants*
  • Tuberculosis* / diagnosis
  • Tuberculosis* / prevention & control
  • Universal Health Insurance