The Project

Why such a Project?

PROMOVAX project aims to promote immunizations among migrant populations in Europe which is an issue that deserves special attention.

• Increasing migration to and within Europe has confronted health care systems with new problems of developing accessible, appropriate and good quality services for migrants. The majority of the existing service provisions has been developed for the native populations and is often ill-equipped when it comes to dealing with the needs of other groups.

The average immunization coverage for childhood diseases is higher than 90% in the WHO European Region, which consists of 53 Member States and over 885 million people. However, full protection can only be achieved by 95% coverage rates, and regional country averages mask inequities both within and between countries. Most of the non-immunized belong to hard-to-reach groups that lack access to vaccines and balanced information about the importance of immunization. These pockets of marginalized, non-immunized groups in the WHO European Region pose a threat for outbreaks of contagious diseases, making it a national as well as international issue.

• Immunization of migrants is a high priority issue for the EU health program within the context of reaching hard to reach populations. Reaching to migrants plays an important role in achieving measles and congenital rubella infection elimination for the year 2010, target set by WHO, maintaining polio-free status of the European Region and control of other vaccine-preventable diseases.

• Immunizations could serve as a vehicle to provide primary care, other preventative and screening services, as well as education to the migrants. Thus, through spillover effects, PROMOVAX also aims to contribute to the improvement of the provided health services to migrants in Europe in general.

• PROMOVAX brings together different institutions and organizations in the disciplines of migrant health, migrant workers health, public health as well as immunizations, thus forming a network of communication and collaboration in the area.

• The project targets both migrants and health professionals, as well as policy makers so as to effectively promote immunizations among migrant populations in Europe.

The PROMOVAX Project has received funding from the European Union / DG Health and Consumer Protection.
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