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Migrant and refugee health

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Guest edited by Prof Alimuddin Zumla and Prof Ibrahim Abubakar

We are currently witnessing an unprecedented global migrant and refugee crisis. The latest estimates of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) indicate that 65.3 million people have been forcibly displaced worldwide, and approximately 34,000 people are forced to flee their homes every day, due to conflicts or persecution. Migrants come from areas affected by extreme poverty and war, and embark on long and exhausting journeys. This may result in increased vulnerability to infectious diseases, non-communicable diseases such as cardiovascular diseases, diabetes, cancer, chronic lung diseases, and mental health issues. The implications for global public health are too important to be ignored.

This article collection covers recent advances in infectious and non-communicable disease research, tropical medicine, and global health policy that have both broad interest and high clinical and public health relevance due to their impact on migrant health.

We are seeking submissions of original research (including systematic reviews and meta-analyses), in-depth reviews, opinions and debates offering novel insights into all aspects of migrant health. If you would like your work to be considered, please submit directly to BMC Medicine, stating in your cover letter that you are targeting the migrant health collection, or send a pre-submission enquiry to

  1. Content type: Research article

    Epidemiological studies suggest that reduced exposure to varicella might lead to an increased risk for herpes zoster (HZ). Reduction of exposure to varicella is a consequence of varicella vaccination but also ...

    Authors: Johannes Horn, Oliver Damm, Wolfgang Greiner, Hartmut Hengel, Mirjam E. Kretzschmar, Anette Siedler, Bernhard Ultsch, Felix Weidemann, Ole Wichmann, André Karch and Rafael T. Mikolajczyk

    Citation: BMC Medicine 2018 16:3

    Published on:

  2. Content type: Opinion

    Changes in climate, in conjunction with other drivers of mobility, shape human migration. While there is an increasing focus on the adaptive potential of migration, the health impacts of climate-related migrat...

    Authors: Patricia Schwerdtle, Kathryn Bowen and Celia McMichael

    Citation: BMC Medicine 2018 16:1

    Published on:

  3. Content type: Guideline

    Populations exposed to humanitarian emergencies are particularly vulnerable to mental health problems, including new onset, relapse and deterioration of psychotic disorders. Inadequate care for this group may ...

    Authors: Giovanni Ostuzzi, Corrado Barbui, Charlotte Hanlon, Sudipto Chatterjee, Julian Eaton, Lynne Jones, Derrick Silove and Peter Ventevogel

    Citation: BMC Medicine 2017 15:197

    Published on:

  4. Content type: Commentary

    This Commentary describes the situation and healthcare needs of Afghans returning to their country of origin. With more than 600,000 Afghans returned from Pakistan and approximately 450,000 Afghans returned fr...

    Authors: Ariel Higgins-Steele, David Lai, Paata Chikvaidze, Khaksar Yousufi, Zelaikha Anwari, Richard Peeperkorn and Karen Edmond

    Citation: BMC Medicine 2017 15:196

    Published on: