Sick Migrants: How Shall We Respond?

November 16th, 2018 by INMED


At this moment, media reports are widely announcing the southern approach of migrants who are ill. Some migrants appear to suffer from chickenpox, tuberculosis, even HIV. Most all of them are afflicted by exhaustion and malnutrition following their weeks-long foot journey of at least 1,200 miles. How shall we respond?


One’s reaction to this question is colored by a multitude of factors: personal history, political views, ethnic heritage, cross-cultural exposure, language skills, economic status, and so forth. Please allow me the privilege of adding just one additional perspective:


These diseases are treatable. Usually very easily treatable. No one, anywhere on earth, migrant or non-migrant, should be discriminated against because they suffer from such diseases, or any diseases at all. Rather, we healthcare professionals should respond with compassion and professional care such that their diseases are not only treatable, but immediately treated.