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A bridge to better health care: cultural mediators in refugee and migrant health care

Migration flows constitute a defining element of our time, with a consistent rise in the number of migrants and refugees in the WHO European Region. International migrants now form 10% of the Region’s population, 90.7 million people. This increase in the number of refugees and migrants has gone hand in hand with an increase in the number of cultural mediators, in some countries.

Cultural mediators have the potential to be one of the keys to improving health care for refugees and migrants. They can assist in a variety of ways, including helping refugees and migrants access services and helping health practitioners better understand the needs and behaviours of people in these groups. However, to fully realize the potential of cultural mediators, it is important to understand exactly how countries are already making use of them in health care. How are cultural mediators deployed? What are the range of responsibilities covered by cultural mediators? What kind of training do they receive? And finally, what is known about the effects of cultural mediators on the accessibility and quality of health-care services for refugees and migrants?

This webinar will serve as the launch of a Cultural Contexts of Health (CCH) Health Evidence Network (HEN) synthesis report on cultural mediators. This report synthesizes the best available evidence on the roles of intercultural mediators in health care in the European Region and their effectiveness in improving access and quality of care for refugees and migrants.

The webinar panel will comprise Hans Verrept, the author of the upcoming HEN report and Head of the Intercultural Mediation and Policy Support Unit, Federal Public Service (FPS) Health, Belgium; Dr Santino Severoni, Coordinator Public Health and Migration, WHO/Europe; and Adeline Degratet, Technical Referent for Intercultural Mediation, Médecins Sans Frontières.

The webinar will be live streamed at: 13.00–14.00 CEST

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