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Health Vulnerabilities of Migrants from Pakistan Baseline Assessment

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Abstract

Aims: This study aimed to understand the health vulnerabilities of departing and returnee migrants in Pakistan in order to inform policy and programme development regarding the health of migrants in South Asia. It was conducted as part of the IOM project, ‘Strengthening Government’s Capacity of Selected South Asian Countries to address the Health of Migrants through a Multi-sectoral Approach’ that was implemented in Bangladesh, Nepal and Pakistan from 2013 to 2015.
Health Vulnerabilities of Migrants from Pakistan | i
IOM, Pakistan
August 2015
Health Vulnerabilities of Migrants from Pakistan
Baseline Assessment
Health Vulnerabilities of Migrants from Pakistan | 1
Health Vulnerabilities of Migrants from Pakistan
Baseline Assessment
IOM, Pakistan
August 2015
2 | Health Vulnerabilities of Migrants from Pakistan
Copyright @ International Organization for Migration 2015
First Published 2015
Research Coordinators
ASM Amanullah, lead researcher
Dr Asif Noman, Independent Researcher Pakistan
Technical Review IOM Staff
AFM Risatul Islam, IOM Pakistan
Alison Crawshaw, IOM Regional Office for Asia and the Pacific, Bangkok
Barbara Rijks, IOM Head Quarter, Geneva
Jaime Calderon, IOM Regional Office for Asia and the Pacific, Bangkok
Kaoru Takahashi, IOM Bangladesh
Montira Inkochasan, IOM Regional Office for Asia and the Pacific, Bangkok
Mukunda Singh Basnet, IOM Pakistan
Paula Bianca Blomquist, IOM Regional Office for Asia and the Pacific, Bangkok
Poonam Dhavan, Migration Health Unit, IOM Manila Administrative Centre
Samir Kumar Howlader, IOM Bangladesh
Sarah Lauren Harris, IOM Regional Office for Asia and the Pacific, Bangkok
Waqar Ahmed, IOM Pakistan
Programme Management Staff
Anita Alero Davies, Chief Migration Health Officer, IOM Bangladesh
Enrico Ponziani, Chief of Mission, IOM Pakistan
Sarat Dash, Chief of Mission, IOM Bangladesh
Suggested Citation:
International Organization for Migration (IOM)
2015 Health Vulnerabilities of Migrants from Pakistan. Baseline assessment
Graphic Design: Expressions Ltd
Health Vulnerabilities of Migrants from Pakistan | 3
ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS
This research study was implemented under the project “Strengthening Government’s Capacity of
Selected South Asian Countries to address the Health of Migrants through a Multi-sector Approach”,
funded by the IOM Development Fund.
Overall guidance for this project was provided by Sarat Dash, International Organization for
Migration (IOM) Dhaka, Chief of Mission. The project was managed by the Migration Health Division
(MHD) in IOM Dhaka in coordination with MHD in IOM Pakistan, and with technical support from the
IOM Regional Office for Asia and the Pacific in Bangkok.
This report would not have been possible without the approval, supports and commitment of the
Ministry of Overseas Pakistanis & Human Resources Development and Ministry of National Health
Services, Regulation and Coordination (NHSRC) of Government of Islamic Republic of Pakistan.
IOM would like to thank the lead researcher ASM Amanullah and Dr Asif Noman for carrying out
the study, and Paula Blomquist from IOM Regional Office Bangkok for conducting data analysis and
drafting the initial report.
A special thanks goes to the reviewers who contributed their expertise to this publication including:
Alison Crawshaw, Barbara Rijks, Kaoru Takahashi, Jaime Calderon, Montira Inkochasan, Paula Bianca
Blomquist, Poonam Dhavan, Samir Kumar Howlader, and Sarah Lauren Harris.
We are grateful for the financial support of the IOM Development Fund, which financed the project
from inception through completion.
Finally, IOM would like to thank the migrant workers of Pakistan and the key informants, including
policy makers, health service providers, and other local stakeholders in Pakistan who have given
their valuable time to participate in this research.
4 | Health Vulnerabilities of Migrants from Pakistan
Health Vulnerabilities of Migrants from Pakistan | 5
TABLE OF CONTENTS
ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS 2
ABBREVIATIONS AND ACRONYMS 6
EXECUTIVE SUMMARY 7
CHAPTER ONE: INTRODUCTION
1.1 Project background 10
1.2 Purpose of study 11
1.3 Research methodology 12
1.3.1 Study design 12
1.3.2 Study area 12
1.3.3 Sampling scheme 12
1.3.4 Participant selection and eligibility criteria 13
1.3.5 Research tool development 14
1.3.6 Data collection 14
1.3.7 Data management and analysis 15
1.3.8 Ethical considerations 15
1.3.9 Study limitations 15
CHAPTER TWO: LITERATURE REVIEW
2.1 Labour migration in Pakistan 17
2.2 Health system in Pakistan 17
2.3 Health vulnerabilities of Pakistani migrant populations 18
2.4 Policy and migration health in Pakistan 18
CHAPTER THREE: STUDY FINDINGS
3.1 Quantitative results 20
3.1.1 Characteristic of study population 20
Demographic profile 20
Migration profile 21
3.1.2 Health risks and vulnerabilities 23
Health profile and health-care seeking behaviour 23
Sexual behaviour and condom use 24
Sexual violence in country of destination 27
Substance abuse 27
3.1.3 Knowledge of health risks and prevention including HIV/AIDS 27
General health knowledge 27
HIV/AIDS knowledge 27
Perceived risk of contracting infectious disease 28
Pre-departure health orientation 29
6 | Health Vulnerabilities of Migrants from Pakistan
3.1.4
Accessibility and perceived quality of health services and health seeking behaviour
30
Health-care seeking behaviour 30
Post-arrival medical check-up 31
Health-care accessibility in Pakistan 31
Health-care accessibility in the country of destination 34
Mandatory health examination prior to departure 36
Access to health information and communication 38
3.2 Qualitative results 42
3.2.1 Health risks faced by migrants and their dependents 42
3.2.2 Health-care seeking behaviour and post-return medical check-up 43
3.2.3 Knowledge of health risks and prevention 43
3.2.4 Pre-departure orientation 44
3.2.5 General health services in Pakistan 44
3.2.6 Migrant focused services in Pakistan 44
3.2.7
Accessibility and perceived quality of health care in the country of destination
45
3.2.8 Mandatory health examination prior to departure 45
3.2.9 Higher level and multi-sectoral coordination 46
CHAPTER FOUR: DISCUSSION OF FINDINGS
4.1 Migration profile 47
4.2 Health risks and vulnerabilities 47
4.3 Health-care seeking behaviour 48
4.4 Health-care quality and accessibility in the country of origin and destination 49
4.5 Mandatory health examination prior to departure 49
4.6 Health knowledge and sources of health information 50
CHAPTER FIVE: RECOMMENDATIONS
5.1 Monitoring migrant health 52
5.2 Policies and legal frameworks 53
5.3 Migrant sensitive health systems 53
5.4 Partnerships, networks and multi-country frameworks 55
REFERENCES 56
Health Vulnerabilities of Migrants from Pakistan | 7
ABBREVIATIONS AND ACRONYMS
AIDS Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome
FGD Focus Group Discussion
GAMCA Gulf Cooperation Council Approved Medical Centres Association
GCC Gulf Cooperation Council
HIV Human Immunodeficiency Virus
INGO International Non-Governmental Organization
ILO International Labour Organization
IOM International Organization for Migration
KII Key Informant Interview
NGO Non-Governmental Organization
PKR Pakistani Rupee
SOP Standard Operating Procedure
STI Sexually Transmitted Infection
TB Tuberculosis
UN United Nations
UNDP United Nations Development Programme
WHA World Health Assembly
WHO World Health Organization
8 | Health Vulnerabilities of Migrants from Pakistan
Health Vulnerabilities of Migrants from Pakistan | 9
EXECUTIVE SUMMARY
Aims: This study aimed to understand the health vulnerabilities of departing and returnee migrants
in Pakistan in order to inform policy and programme development regarding the health of migrants
in South Asia. It was conducted as part of the IOM project, ‘Strengthening Government’s Capacity of
Selected South Asian Countries to address the Health of Migrants through a Multi-sectoral Approach’
that was implemented in Bangladesh, Nepal and Pakistan from 2013 to 2015.
Methodology: The study population consisted of departing and returnee migrants (those
preparing to leave and those residing in the country of origin for no longer than twelve months
following a period of emigration or work) and their spouses in Pakistan. The study employed a
mixed-methods approach. For quantitative data collection, interviews were conducted using a
structured questionnaire, while qualitative data was collected through Key Informant Interviews
(KII) with relevant government, international organizations and community-based organizations
and Focus Group Discussions (FGD) with returnee migrants and their spouses. A multi-stage cluster
sampling technique was used for the quantitative sampling. Qualitative participants were recruited
through snowball and network recruitment. Research tools were pre-tested and translations of the
tools into Urdu and Pashto languages were validated. Informed consent was sought from all the
study respondents and participants before incorporating them under this study.
Results: This study interviewed 400 respondents for the survey, consisting of 200 departing and
200 returnee migrants. Only five female respondents were interviewed. More than 80 per cent of
respondents were under 35 years of age, and approximately half of the migrants were married.
Almost one-third did not attend formal education or attended below primary school level while
29 per cent reached secondary school. About half of them could read Pakistani but with difficulties
and 13 per cent could not read at all. The most common profession was labourer (32%), followed
by construction worker (20%), and technician (18%). The Middle East was the intended destination
region for 77 per cent of departing migrants, and the most recent region of work for 85 per cent of
returnee migrants. Saudi Arabia was the most popular country for departing migrants, and Dubai
for returnee migrants. Relatives (48%) and friends (31%) were the main sources of assistance during
the pre-departure migration phase. The majority of respondents specified that the highest burden
was taking care of financial arrangements. Only 14 per cent of migrants reported that they ever
had sex. About 45 per cent did not provide information on their sexual activity. Lower numbers of
sexual partners within this time were reported; 42 per cent had had one partner and 32 per cent
between two and five within the past six months. Spouse was the most frequently identified sexual
partner. Condom use appears to be highest during sex with a casual acquaintance or sex worker,
with 29 and 23 per cent always using condoms respectively. However, due to the high proportion
of missing responses, particularly among those who had reported sex with a spouse or friend in
the last 6 months, comparing condom use between partners is difficult. Only 4 per cent of returnee
migrants reported a history of forced sexual intercourse. However, 17 per cent of migrants knew of
peers who had been sexually abused abroad.
General medical treatment was widely available in the community, identified by 77 per cent of all
migrants. Other specific services were however less available, such as maternity care, dental care,
optical care, and mental health-care services. When asked about specific curative health services,
medicine provision and diagnosis were the most frequently identified available services in their
communities, while Sexually Transmitted Infection (STI) management was the least available (6%).
10 | Health Vulnerabilities of Migrants from Pakistan
Both preventative and curative services were mostly provided by community government centres,
followed by private services and district government centres. More than half (58%) found health
care in Pakistan to be unaffordable or difficult to afford, while 34 per cent of migrants found health
care to be easily affordable or affordable. 64 per cent of respondents felt that they could use the
public health facilities any time, 32 per cent were satisfied while 16 per cent were unsatisfied with
the health services. About a half (51%) of migrants expressed that they faced difficulties accessing
health-care services, citing the unavailability of doctors (55%), unaffordable costs (52%), long
distances to health-care centres (28%), and inconvenient operating times (22%) as the main barriers.
Regarding access to health care while abroad, 16 per cent of all returnee migrants had heard of
places where migrants can access medical care and treatment, with the majority of these specifying
government organizations. About 75 per cent of returnee migrants perceived health care abroad
to be easily affordable or affordable. Among those who sought health care, the most common form
of health-care financing was out of pocket payments, with 56 per cent of migrants paying for their
own health care. A further 30 per cent had their health care financed by insurance, although this is
slightly under the 37 per cent of migrants who had insurance abroad. About a quarter of all migrants
expressed that they had faced difficulties accessing health care in their destination country. Among
these individuals, the main barriers consisted of language barriers (48%), lack of information (32%),
unaffordable costs (31%) and discrimination due to migration status (31%).
During the time of field work, 44 per cent of all selected respondents of the study (n=176) had a
health check-up: 31 per cent of departing migrants and 58 per cent of returnee migrants. According
to the Bureau of Immigration, more than 90 per cent would go for the Pre departure medical
check as most of the migrants go to the Middle East and do medical under the Gulf Cooperation
Council Approved Medical Centres Association (GAMCA). The most popular locations of the pre-
departure medical check-up were GAMCA approved centres in the capital cities. As an aggregate
measure, 69 per cent those who underwent a pre-departure health examination stated that all
three protocols namely explaining the test, acquisition of consent and sharing of results, had
been followed by the health provider. Only 5 per cent of migrants had received a pre-departure
health orientation or training. Approximately half of returnee migrants believed it was necessary to
have a health check-up after arrival in their home country, however just over a quarter of returnee
migrants had actually had one. Among those who did not have a health check-up after their return
home, more than half attributed this to perceived insusceptibility. The findings also showed that
Pakistani migrants were particularly vulnerable to occupational hazards, and mental health. The
majority of migrants perceived themselves not to be at risk of Tuberculosis, HIV, STIs or Hepatitis C.
However approximately a third of migrants reported not knowing their risk, which suggests poor
understanding of these diseases.
The quality of health services in Pakistan was generally perceived to be unsatisfactory among
the participants in the focus group discussion. Geographical, economic, administrative, and
communication barriers limit accessibility to health care in Pakistan. There were no preventive,
screening, curative, palliative, or psychosocial government services targeting the migrant
population, and that inbound migrants are not entitled to public health services. The GAMCA is the
exception: The majority of migrants have pre-departure health examinations facilitated by GAMCA,
and some key informants noted that GAMCA sometimes offers health promotion and education
services to those migrants who present for the check-ups. Key informants highlighted a particular
need for information on how to access health care while abroad. None of the key informants were
aware of the International Guidelines and frameworks related to health of migrants or any other
evidence-based country policy framework.
Health Vulnerabilities of Migrants from Pakistan | 11
Recommendations: The major recommendations from the study include the need for the
Government of Pakistan to improve health infrastructure, including migrant-specific health services
such as psychosocial counselling. The Government should develop a regulatory mechanism to
effectively monitor the activities of private health providers, recruiting agencies, and medical
testing centres. More pressure should be applied to employers and recruitment agencies to ensure
they provide or finance fair, equitable, comprehensive, and acceptable health services, including
pre-departure medical examination and health orientations, as well as health care in the destination
country. Television and radio should be harnessed for effective health communications. Underlying
this, the Pakistani Government should ratify global migration related conventions, to incorporate
health as an essential and “non-negotiable” component in the bilateral agreements. They should
implement migrant-friendly services through participatory and transparent planning that is inclusive
of migrant and local health provider representatives, and harnesses the guidance and comparative
advantages of relevant NGOs.
INTRODUCTION
12 | Health Vulnerabilities of Migrants from Pakistan
CHAPTER ONE
INTRODUCTION
INTRODUCTION
Health Vulnerabilities of Migrants from Pakistan | 13
1.1 PROJECT BACKGROUND
This study among Pakistani migrants is part of the IOM project “Strengthening Government’s Capacity
of Selected South Asian Countries to Address the Health of Migrants through a Multi-sector Approach”. It
is implemented in Bangladesh, Nepal and Pakistan. The three objectives of the project were:
1. To conduct an in-depth assessment among the three South Asian countries to assess health
vulnerabilities of migrants, including their access to health and other social services, a
mapping of governments’ responses to address these vulnerabilities, and to come up with
recommendations for action;
2. To support a regional consultation involving the three primary target countries and countries
that implemented a similar project before, such as Sri Lanka and Thailand, to discuss best
practices and agree on success factors to develop a migration health agenda at national level
for the target countries;
3. To support the Ministries of Health of Bangladesh and Nepal, and the Ministry of Human
Resource Development of Pakistan to develop strategic action plans to address the health of
migrants using a multi-sectoral approach.
The project responds to the recommendations from the Regional Dialogue on the Health Challenges
for Asian Migrant Workers (July 2010), the Dhaka Declaration (April 2011) and the World Health
Assembly (WHA) Resolution 61.17 (May 2008) and assists key migration affected countries in South
Asia to implement global and regional commitments and comprehensively address multi-faceted
migration related health challenges.
From 1971 to 2013, over 7 million Pakistani migrant workers have sought employment abroad
through the Bureau of Emigration, 96 per cent of which have migrated to countries in the Gulf
Cooperation Council (ILO, 2014). In 2013, a total of 609,478 individuals migrated to the top six
receiving countries, Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Oman, Bahrain, Qatar and Kuwait (ILO,
2014). A further 3.5-4.0 million Pakistanis are thought to migrate per year, often temporarily, through
undocumented channels (UNDP, 2010). The health impacts and social consequences resulting
from outbound migration flows are substantial and not well explored. Given the likelihood that
migration trends will continue to increase in Pakistan, improved knowledge of the migration and
health related challenges that Pakistan faces is needed in order for the key government ministries to
understand the importance of supporting migrants, in order to reduce health disparities and ensure
better health outcomes for all categories of migrants.
In many South Asian countries, governments have not kept pace with the growing challenges
of migration related health concerns, whether it is inbound, internal or outbound migration. The
adoption of the WHA Resolution 61.17 on the “Health of Migrants” in 2008 calls upon Member
States to develop and promote migrant sensitive health policies and practices. It calls upon the
WHO and other relevant organizations, such as IOM, to encourage inter-regional and international
cooperation and promote the exchange of information and dialogue among Member States, with
particular attention to strengthening health systems (WHA, 2008).
Since 2008, there have been a number of high-level regional meetings and commitments in South
and South East Asia to operationalize and implement the WHA Resolution. In July 2010, the Regional
Dialogue on the Health Challenges for Asian Labour Migrants was held in Bangkok, bringing
INTRODUCTION
14 | Health Vulnerabilities of Migrants from Pakistan
together government representatives from thirteen Member States1 from the Departments of
Labour, Foreign Affairs and Health. During this dialogue delegates discussed and agreed upon a
number of recommendations to tackle the health of Asian labour migrants at national, bilateral and
regional level. In April 2011, at the Colombo Process2 Fourth Ministerial Consultation for Asian Labour
Sending Countries in Dhaka, the Dhaka Declaration was adopted. It included the recommendation
to “promote the implementation of migrant-inclusive health policies to ensure equitable access
to health care and services as well as occupational safety and health for migrant workers” (Dhaka
Declaration, 2013).
This report presents and discusses the findings of the data collected on the health vulnerabilities of
departing and returnee migrants and the health policy regarding migrants in Pakistan have been
collected and analysed.
1.2 PURPOSE OF STUDY
The overall aim of this study was to contribute to the general understanding of the health
vulnerabilities of departing and returnee migrants in Pakistan to inform the development of
evidence policies, services and programmes that respond to migration related health challenges.
Specifically, the objectives of the study were to:
1. To assess the migration related health vulnerabilities of departing and returnee migrants in
Pakistan.
2. To determine the availability and accessibility of health services, quality of health services, and
barriers to accessing health services among migrants in their country of origin and destination.
3. To provide recommendations to the government and other stakeholders to support policy
development on health aspects of migration and programme development.
1.3 RESEARCH METHODOLOGY
1.3.1 Study design
This study employed a mixed-methods approach, undertaking both quantitative research through
questionnaire-aided interviews, and qualitative data collection using semi-structured Key Informant
Interviews (KII) and Focus Group Discussions (FGD). Based on the findings of the literature review,
both qualitative and quantitative methods of data collection were developed to conduct this study.
This study was carried out among departing and returnee migrants in several districts, as well as the
capital city of Pakistan.
1 Attending Member States were Bangladesh, Cambodia, China, India, Indonesia, Lao People’s Democratic Republic,
Myanmar, Nepal, Pakistan, Philippines, Sri Lanka, Thailand and Viet Nam.
2 The Colombo Process is an informal and non-binding, regional consultative process of the following Member States:
Afghanistan, Bangladesh, China, India, Indonesia, Nepal, Pakistan, the Philippines, Sri Lanka, Thailand and Viet Nam.
The Colombo Process is dedicated to discussing issues of migration.
INTRODUCTION
Health Vulnerabilities of Migrants from Pakistan | 15
1.3.2 Study area
Seven areas were chosen, of which four were within the migrant-dense province Khyber
Pakhtunkhwa.
a) Peshawar District, the capital of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province: urban and rural areas of
Chamkini and Phando (Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province)
b) Swabi District: rural villages Tarakai, Shera Ghwand, Kernal Sher Kaly and Kalu Kh (Khyber
Pakhtunkhwa province)
c) Nowshera District: rural areas and semi urban areas of Pabbi and Jalozai village (Khyber
Pakhtunkhwa province)
d) Lower Dir District: Bilambat, Khaal, Talaash and Chakdar town (Khyber Pakhtunkhwa
province)
e) Hangu District: Hangu city and Tall town (Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province)
f) Islamabad city, the federal capital of Pakistan
g) Rawalpindi city (Punjab province)
1.3.3 Sampling scheme
A purposive sampling technique was used. Several clusters were selected covering almost an
equal number of clusters for departing and returnee migrants. Clusters of returnee migrants were
selected through the use of literature, previous experience in the area, and a preliminary survey
prior to data collection. Within identified, migrant prone areas, recruitment agencies, government
migration management institutions, and health examination centres were visited. Migrants were
either approached for interview, or they provided their addresses for off-site interviews at another
time.
Recruitment agencies and clinics for mandatory health examinations were regarded as single
clusters for departing migrants. They were selected using a list of recruitment agencies and health
examination centres available from Bureau of Emigration & Overseas Employment, Government
of Pakistan and Gulf Coordination Council. From the list, the required number of clusters was
selected using the Probability Proportionate to Size (PPS) method, and respondents, primarily
migrant workers, were randomly selected from the selected clusters. If departing migrants were not
available in a certain cluster, snowball sampling was used to draw more respondents from health
examination centres.
1.3.4 Participant selection and eligibility criteria
Quantitative research
This study interviewed 400 respondents for the survey, consisting of 200 departing and 200 returnee
migrants. Only five female respondents were interviewed. Irrespective of age, gender, labour
category and length of migration, the following eligibility criteria applied: departing migrants had
to be in or have completed the process of signing a contract, applying for a visa, and/or undergoing
a mandatory health examination prior to departure. Those who planned to migrate but had not yet
taken definitive steps to do so were excluded. Returnee migrants had to have returned to Pakistan
within the last twelve months.
INTRODUCTION
16 | Health Vulnerabilities of Migrants from Pakistan
Qualitative research
Several KII and FGD were conducted with relevant stakeholders. This included health service
providers, migration and health officials, government officials, employment and training officials,
academic experts, NGO officials working with migrants, departing, returnees, and cross border
migrants, as well as spouses of migrants. Available FGD participants were randomly selected from
the clusters selected for the quantitative survey during quantitative data collection. Participants
for KII were selected at random to include relevant stakeholders, such as health service providers,
migration and health officials, relevant government officials, manpower, employment and training
officials, NGO officials working with migrants and relevant academic experts.
Table 1: Quantitative and Qualitative sample respondents
Target Groups Method Sample Size Comments/ Distribution
Migrants
(departing and
returnee)
Quantitative
survey
400 respondents 200 departing migrants
200 returnee migrants
Migrants
(departing and
returnee)
Focus Group
Discussion
4 FGDs
(33 respondents)
2 FGDs with returnee migrants (8 +
9 participants per group)
2 FGDs with departing migrants (9
+ 7 participants per group)
All major
stakeholders
Key Informants
Interview
16 KIIs 5 recruitment agency managers
(Jan Express overseas
employment promoters,
GAMCA, Universal Travels,
Marwat Manpower Ltd.,
Overseas employment
promoters of Pakistan)
1 medical centre representative
7 managers and doctors
representing development
agencies (UNHCR, WHO (x2),
IOM, FAO, UNDP, ILO)
1 Deputy Director of Public Health
from MOH
1 CEO of Comprehensive
Health and Education Forum
International Islamabad
1 Migration Officer from the
Department of Migration
Islamabad
INTRODUCTION
Health Vulnerabilities of Migrants from Pakistan | 17
1.3.5 Research tool development
Design, pre-testing and training
The research tools were developed by the Regional Researcher, based in Dhaka, Bangladesh, in
consultation with the IOM teams in the Regional Office for Asia and the Pacific in Bangkok, and
in the Country Offices in Pakistan, Nepal and Bangladesh. Field researchers were recruited in
Pakistan. The field researchers translated the tools into Urdu and Pashto languages. Pre-testing of
the questionnaire was conducted in Peshawar and Lower Dir Districts to assess its validity and to
determine the appropriateness of the translation and database design. Pre-testing was conducted
in several households of returnee migrants and at recruitment centres with departing migrants in
selected sample areas. The questionnaire was finalized based on the results of this piloting.
A three-day training session for field researchers was conducted prior to the data collection period.
The training included both theoretical and practical sessions, as well as detailed discussions on each
question in the questionnaire. Mock interviews and FGD sessions were also held during the training.
1.3.6 Data collection
Six study teams were deployed to the field for quantitative data collection, consisting of four
enumerators and one supervisor each. Two student teams were deployed for the qualitative field
data collection, and each team consisted of a supervisor, interviewer and note taker. Care was
taken to ensure interviews were conducted in privacy and proper rapport was established with
respondents. In some cases, repeated visits were required to break down barriers. Twenty per cent of
the quantitative interviews were supervised and incomplete surveys were re-done where possible.
A central data collection coordinator supervised the overall data collection activities. The National
Consultant was responsible for organizing logistics for the survey teams and quality control teams
under his/her jurisdiction. He also implemented the overall monitoring and supervision of fieldwork.
Comprehensive records were kept in a computerized database which differentiated between
individual field researchers to enable effective monitoring and field management. The IOM Data
Protection Principles and Research Guide were provided to the National Consultants for their ready
reference.
1.3.7 Data management and analysis
Quantitative data
Field supervisors coded the questionnaires and entered data using Microsoft Excel. 30 per cent of
the completed questionnaires were checked and validated. Data was then transferred into SPSS,
cleaned, labelled, and checked for internal consistency. Data analysis consisted of basic cross
tabulations to create frequency tables and graphs. Differences between returnee and departing
migrants, age groups, and professions were presented where appropriate. In some cases, statistical
methods, including Chi-square tests and logistic regression, were used for bivariate and multivariate
analysis.
Qualitative data
Interviews were transcribed and translated prior to analysis. The material was then explored
thematically, and trends were identified according to specific categories. Categorization and sub-
categorization of data was continued until all relevant themes were identified and labelled. Standard
and systematic qualitative data analysis techniques were carried out, such as grounded theory or
INTRODUCTION
18 | Health Vulnerabilities of Migrants from Pakistan
content, narrative or comparative analysis. The framework of analysis and codes for the qualitative
findings were provided by the Regional Researcher, and analysis was carried out manually.
1.3.8 Ethical considerations
Ethical approval was sought from the Health Service Academy under Ministry of National Health
Services Regulation and Coordination in Pakistan. Informed consent, through a generic form
incorporated at the beginning of all study tools, was sought from all study participants before
participating in data collection. The study team also followed WHO and UNAIDS guidelines for
generating data on HIV/AIDS and other infectious diseases (UNAIDS, 1997).
1.3.9 Study limitations
There were various obstacles that prevented access to departing migrants, which limited the
recruitment of the desired number of respondents. It was also very difficult to find female migrants,
and the findings are thus not necessarily representative of the migration experience of women in
Pakistan. Furthermore, this study does not capture the experiences of undocumented migrants
from Pakistan while living abroad.
There is risk of response bias, particularly with regard to sensitive topics such as sexual behaviour.
Some variables missed more than 20 per cent of responses. The lack of discussion and probing
in the quantitative survey poses a limitation, and indicators concerning the health knowledge of
respondents, for example, may be underestimated.
INTRODUCTION
Health Vulnerabilities of Migrants from Pakistan | 19
LITERATURE REVIEW
20 | Health Vulnerabilities of Migrants from Pakistan
CHAPTER TWO
LITERATURE REVIEW
LITERATURE REVIEW
Health Vulnerabilities of Migrants from Pakistan | 21
2.1 LABOUR MIGRATION IN PAKISTAN
Pakistan has a population of approximately 190 million making it the seventh most populous
country in the world (CIA, 2014). From 1971 to 2013, over 7 million Pakistani migrant workers have
sought employment abroad through the Bureau of Emigration, 96 per cent of which have migrated
to countries in the Gulf Cooperation Council (ILO, 2014). In 2013, a total of 609,478 individuals
migrated to the top six receiving countries, Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates, Oman, Bahrain,
Qatar and Kuwait (ILO, 2014). A further 3.5-4.0 million Pakistanis are thought to migrate per year,
often temporarily, through undocumented channels (UNDP, 2010).
Approximately 63 per cent of Pakistan’s migrating population is below the age of 25 years (CARAM
Asia, 2007). Labour migration out of Pakistan predominately involves unskilled male workers, the
majority of whom work in construction. According to UN DESA (2013), within Asia, 42 per cent of
migrants are women. In Pakistan, however, women only constitute 0.12 per cent of the total migrant
population; women seeking employment abroad are typically skilled, taking up professions such
as health, finance, beauty, and fashion design in developed countries. Religious and social values,
however, prevent women from taking advantage of opportunities abroad in occupational sectors
that require less or no skill (ILO, 2014). The Government of Pakistan encourages the migration of
women abroad for foreign employment in any sector. This highlights an area for substantial growth
and improvement.
Remittances are a major pull factor for migration out of Pakistan, amounting to USD 17 billion in
2014 (World Bank, 2014), approximately 6.7 per cent of the GDP (World Bank, 2013). Costs to send
remittances have been declining, making it more feasible for migrants sending remittances back to
their country of origin. In Pakistan in 2013, remittances increased by 16.6 per cent and remittance
rates are expected to continue to grow robustly, especially in South Asia.
2.2 HEALTH SYSTEM IN PAKISTAN
Pakistan operates a multi-tiered, mixed health system. It consists of public and private providers
including NGOs. The health system at federal level is highly fragmented following the dissolution
of the Ministry of Health and the downgrade of responsibilities to the provincial Departments of
Health.
Pakistan allocates only 3.1 per cent of gross domestic product (GDP) to health expenditure (World
Bank, 2012). As a result of underfunding of public facilities, many are obligated to rely upon health
care provided by the private sector, which operates largely for profit and charges high fees for
consultations and medication (Rehman et al., 2014; Shaikh et al., 2011).
In Pakistan there also exist large disparities between provision of health services in urban and rural
settings. Shortage of health-care staff such as health managers, nurses, paramedics and skilled birth
attendants in rural areas highlight a strong imbalance in health resource allocation.
2.3 HEALTH VULNERABILITIES OF PAKISTANI MIGRANT POPULATIONS
Migrants often work in environments that expose them to risk factors for communicable and non-
communicable diseases. The combination of migrant status and belonging to an ethnic minority
has also been frequently associated with impaired health and poorer access to health services
LITERATURE REVIEW
22 | Health Vulnerabilities of Migrants from Pakistan
(WHO, 2010a). Furthermore, migrants are more exposed to social disadvantage and exclusion and
face a multitude of barriers to accessing health care (WHO, 2010b). Due to their frequent mobility
and lack of legal status, language barriers, as well as cultural and religious factors access to health
services is often difficult, inconsistent or unavailable. Vulnerabilities experienced by migrants are
also related to factors such as gender, age and ethnicity (WHO, 2010b).
Migrants from Pakistan are predominantly male under the age of 25 years. This population is typically
illiterate with minimal knowledge of pertinent health issues (CARAM Asia, 2007). Furthermore, the
poor and often exploitative conditions under which migrants travel, live and work increase their risk
of exposure to infectious diseases such as HIV and Tuberculosis (TB) (UNDP, 2008).
HIV in Pakistan manifests as a concentrated epidemic among key populations, including injecting
drug users, men who have sex with men and sex workers (Khan and Khan, 2010). Migrants have also
been found to be a group at risk of heightened HIV prevalence. This can be linked to the typical
demographics of Pakistani migrants who are primarily young unskilled males with a low knowledge
of HIV, STIs or the importance of safe sex practices (AIDS Data Hub, 2009). Separation from spouses
and family increases the vulnerability of migrant men to engage in risk taking behaviours, such
as purchasing commercial sex. In a 2008 study conducted by UNDP found that 86 per cent of
respondents had limited or no knowledge of safe sex practices and 82 per cent of migrants had
sexual relations with female sex workers during their period of migration. At the time of publication,
Pakistan has no policy regarding HIV/AIDS and migrants.
Pakistan is also a high Tuberculosis-burden country, with an estimated TB incidence of 231 per
100,000 population and a case detection rate of 64 per cent for all types of TB (WHO, 2013). In
Pakistan, health efforts are continually hampered by weak health programming, socioeconomic
inequities in access to services, natural disasters, social resistance, recent controversies surrounding
health interventions, and conflict.
Furthermore, the migration process can impact the mental health of migrants. In a study of Pakistani
migrants in Canada, it was found that negative mental health outcomes were associated with high
levels of acculturative stress, lower sense of coherence and low perceived social support, among
others (Jibeen and Khalid, 2010).
2.4 POLICY AND MIGRATION HEALTH IN PAKISTAN
While the Emigration Ordinance was adopted in Pakistan in 1979, it was not until 2010 that a
National Migration Policy was formed. In 2008, the Ministry of Overseas Pakistanis was also formed
in an effort to streamline migration-focused initiatives and improve services for overseas Pakistanis,
including housing, education and health-care schemes, and facilitate the rehabilitation of returnee
migrants. According to Emigration Rule 27, all workers recruited for employment abroad are
required to receive a pre-departure orientation and briefing along with the overseas employment
promoter or authorized representative. Additionally, any individual travelling to Gulf Cooperation
Council (GCC) countries on a work visa is required to undergo a mandatory health examination and
be certified as medically fit by one of the 20 GCC-Approved Medical Centres Association (GAMCA)
screening centres in Pakistan. However, in a UNDP study of migrant women to Arab States, 83 per
cent of respondents did not undergo pre-departure orientation from any government department
(UNDP, 2008).
LITERATURE REVIEW
Health Vulnerabilities of Migrants from Pakistan | 23
Within South Asia, Pakistan is the second largest migrant sending country making necessary sound
and effective migration policy that supports overseas workers, especially women and youth (ILO,
2014). Pakistan has yet to ratify important migration related conventions such as the ILO Conventions
97 and 143. Furthermore, Pakistan has also yet to establish effective migration policy that addresses
issues related to migrants’ health. Failure to establish and implement policy addressing migrants’
issues makes the position of migrants even more precarious and potentially jeopardizes general
public health in Pakistan.
STUDY FINDINGS
24 | Health Vulnerabilities of Migrants from Pakistan
CHAPTER THREE
STUDY FINDINGS
STUDY FINDINGS
Health Vulnerabilities of Migrants from Pakistan | 25
3.1 QUANTITATIVE RESEARCH
3.1.1 Characteristic of study population
Demographic profile
In this study, 400 migrant respondents (200 departing, 200 returnee) were interviewed for the
quantitative survey. Only five female respondents were interviewed. More than 80 per cent of
respondents were under 35 years of age, and approximately half of those sampled were married.
The majority of respondents had acquired some form of education. 18.5 per cent had a primary level
education, 29 per cent of respondents had acquired secondary school education and nearly 20 per
cent had tertiary level education. A quarter had no history of formal education (Table 2).
Table 2: Study population demographics
Total Departing Returnee
%n%n%n
Gender
Men 98.8% 395 99.0% 198 98.5% 197
Women 1.3% 5 1.0% 2 1.5% 3
Age
Less than 25 35.0% 140 47.5% 95 22.5% 45
25 to 35 46.3% 185 39.5% 79 53.0% 106
36 to 50 16.0% 64 13.0% 26 19.0% 38
Above 51 2.8% 11 0.0% 0 5.5% 11
Marital status
Never married 47.3% 189 53.0% 106 41.5% 83
Married 50.8% 203 45.0% 90 56.5% 113
Widowed/ Divorced/ Separated 2.0% 8 2.0% 4 2.0% 4
Education
No formal education 25.2% 101 26.0% 52 24.5% 49
Below primary 7.5% 30 6.0% 12 9.0% 18
Primary 18.5% 74 14.5% 29 22.5% 45
Secondary 29.0% 116 29.0% 58 29.0% 58
College/university 19.8% 79 24.5% 49 15.0% 30
Literacy among those with primary education or less (ease of letter-writing)
Easily 38.1% 85 37.6% 41 38.6% 44
With difficulty 48.0% 107 51.4% 56 44.7% 51
Not at all 13.0% 31 11.0% 12 16.7% 19
Number of people in family
1 to 3 7.8% 31 6.0% 12 9.5% 19
4 to 6 26.5% 106 28.5% 57 24.5% 49
Above 6 65.8% 263 65.5% 131 66.0% 132
Total 400 200 200
STUDY FINDINGS
26 | Health Vulnerabilities of Migrants from Pakistan
The median income amongst all migrants was just under 20,000 PKR (approx. 200 USD), and the
most common profession was Labourer (32%), followed by construction worker (20%), technician
(18%), domestic worker (10%), and agricultural worker (6%). Fifteen per cent of migrants worked
in other unspecified occupations. Although nearly two thirds of migrants had a family size of more
than six people, 95 per cent had three or fewer earning members in the family.
Migration profile
The Middle East was the intended destination region for 77 per cent of departing migrants, and
the most recent region of work for 85 per cent of returnee migrants. 30 per cent of departing
migrants named the United Arab Emirates as their destination of choice, followed by 25 per cent of
respondents intending to migrate to Saudi Arabia. 39 per cent of returnees were returnees from the
United Arab Emirates; 19.5 per cent were returnees from Saudi Arabia.
The most frequently stated planned and actual time spent abroad was between one and two years
(48% of departing and 39% of returnee migrants respectively), however returnee migrants appeared
to spend slightly more time abroad than departing migrants intended to (Table 3) (p=0.042).
Table 3:
Planned and actual time spent abroad for work, as % of departing and returnee migrants
Departing Returnee
%n%n
Time spent abroad Planned Actual
Up to 12 months 18.5% 37 17.0% 34
12 to 24 months 48.0% 96 38.5% 77
24 to 48 months 21.0% 42 25.0% 50
More than 48 months 12.5% 25 19.5% 39
Relatives (48%) and friends (31%) were the main sources of assistance during the pre-departure
phase, 20 per cent of respondents relied upon themselves for support and twelve per cent received
support from recruitment agencies (Figure 1). There was little difference between departing and
returnee migrants.
Migrants faced many challenges throughout the migration process. The most frequently mentioned
challenge was arranging finances for migration (75.5% of respondents), followed by bribes to the
authorities (20%). Also mentioned were facing discrimination (11%) and abuse (7%), and completing
the health examination (4%) (Figure 2). More departing migrants than returnees indicated that they
faced no challenges throughout the migration process, however, this difference was minimal (11%
versus 13% respectively).
STUDY FINDINGS
Health Vulnerabilities of Migrants from Pakistan | 27
All Departing Returnee
Relatives
Friends
Self
Recruiting Agencies
Local Brokers
Govt. Agencies
Other
0% 10%20% 30% 40% 50%
Financial arrangements
Bribes to authorities
No burdens
Discrimination
Health assessment
Other
0% 20%40% 60%80% 100%
Figure 1: Sources of assistance during the pre-departure
migration process, as percentage of departing and
returnee migrants who specified each source
Figure 2: Burdens during the pre-departure
migration process, as percentage of departing and
returnee migrants who specified each burden
As for the reasons for return, personal reasons was the most frequently specified reason for return
(38% of returnee migrants), followed closely by coming for leave (33%) and the end of contract
(17%). Personal reasons and leave were the only ones reported by the three female respondents.
The majority (76%) of returnee migrants reported having completed two to three trips abroad, and
81 per cent expressed their intention to work abroad again. See Table 4 for full details.
Table 4: Reasons for return and history of mobility among male and female returnee migrants
Total Men Women
%n%n%n
Reasons for return
Personal reasons 37.5% 75 37.6% 74 33.3% 1
Coming for leave 33.0% 66 32.5% 64 66.6% 2
End of contract 16.5% 33 16.8% 33 0 0
Pushed back (deported) 5.0% 10 5.1% 10 0 0
Political unrest 4.5% 9 4.6% 9 0 0
Early termination of contract 3.5% 7 3.6% 7 0 0
Other 2.0% 4 4.6% 4 0 0
Number of past trips for work abroad
2 – 3 times 77.5% 155 77.2% 152 100.0% 3
4 – 5 times 15.0% 30 15.3% 30 0.0% 0
More than 5 times 7.5% 15 7.6% 15 0.0% 0
STUDY FINDINGS
28 | Health Vulnerabilities of Migrants from Pakistan
Total Men Women
%n%n%n
Intention to work abroad again
Yes 80.5% 161 80.2% 158 100.0% 3
No 19.5% 39 19.8% 39 0.0% 0
Total 200 197 3
3.1.2 Health risks and vulnerabilities
Health profile and health-care seeking behaviour
In the survey, 96 per cent of all migrants reported to ever have fallen ill, and 42 per cent had fallen
ill in the past six months. Almost all (90%) of returnee migrants had been sick in the country of
destination, including all three women that were included in the sample. The most frequently
experienced illnesses whilst abroad consisted of minor health problems (27%), followed by
hypertension (21%) and mental illnesses (17%) (Figure 3); 38 per cent of respondents who had been
ill did not specify the type of illness.
Minor health problems
Mentalillness
Heart disease/diabetes
Hypertension
Trac accident
STIs
Occupational hazard
Sexual and reproductive health problems
Others
Hepatitis
Tubereulosis
Missing/unknown
0% 5% 10%15% 20%25% 30
%4
5%40%35%
Figure 3: Illnesses experienced in the destination country, as % of returnee migrants who fell ill
When asked about specific conditions, occupational hazards and mental health problems were
reported by 23 per cent and 19 per cent of returnee migrants respectively. Occupational hazards
appeared particularly common among those working in agriculture. Only five respondents reported
a history of STI, all male respondents.
STUDY FINDINGS
Health Vulnerabilities of Migrants from Pakistan | 29
Total (n=200)
Men (n=197)
Labor (n=60)
Domestic work (n=14)
Women (n=3)
Construction work (n=49)
Farmers/agriculture work (n=16)
Technicians (n=31)
Profession Sex
0% 5% 10% 15% 20% 25% 30% 35% 40%
Other (n=30)
Non-communicable disease Mental health problem Occupational hazard STIs
Figure 4: Per cent of migrants who have a history of a non-communicable disease, mental illness,
occupational hazard, or STI, by sex and profession
Health-care seeking was over 85 per cent for STIs, occupational hazards, and mental health problems.
Twenty per cent (4 of 20) had sought health care due to a non-communicable disease (Figure 4). Of
those that did seek advice or treatment, half approached health providers and a quarter mentioned
seeking advice from friends or relatives. Less frequently mentioned were shops or pharmacies,
traditional healers, and employers.
Sexual Behaviour and condom use
Condom use appears to be highest during sex with a casual acquaintance or sex worker, with 29
and 23 per cent of respondents respectively reporting always using a condom (Figure 5). Condom
use with a spouse was inconsistent. However, due to the high proportion of missing responses,
particularly among those who had reported sex with a spouse or friend in the last six months,
comparing condom use between partners is difficult.
STUDY FINDINGS
30 | Health Vulnerabilities of Migrants from Pakistan
Always Sometimes Never Missing/unknown
Spouse (n=28)
Friend (n=5)
Girlfriend/Boyfriend (n=12)
Casual acquiantance (n=7)
Sex worker (n=13)
0% 20% 40% 60% 80% 100%
Figure 5: Respondents that always, sometimes, and never use condoms when having sex with specific
partners, among those who had been sexually active in the past 6 months
There is some indication that reasons for condom use differed depending on the type of sexual
partner. For example, five out of six of respondents who reported always or sometimes using a
condom with a spouse gave pregnancy prevention as the primary reason; in the same category no
respondents indicated condom use for the purpose of preventing sexually transmitted infection
(Table 5). Among those respondents who reported sexual intercourse with a sex worker, prevention
of STIs or HIV was the primary reason for condom use. This data however is not conclusive as there
were low responses in all categories, and furthermore, this question was not asked to those who
had sex with a girlfriend or boyfriend.
Table 5: Reasons for condom use among those who reported ‘always’ or ‘sometimes’ using a
condom in the past 6 months, by partner type
Spouse Friend Sex worker Casual
acquaintance
Prevent pregnancy 83.3% 5 50.0% 1 25.0% 3 0.0% 0
Prevent STI/STD 0.0% 0 0.0% 0 41.7% 5 0.0% 0
Prevent HIV 0.0% 0 50.0% 1 83.3% 10 14.3% 1
N/A 16.7% 1 0.0% 0 8.3% 1 0.0% 0
Missing/unknown 0.0% 0 0.0% 0 0.0% 0 85.7% 6
Total 6 2 12 7
Trust in one’s partner was the most common reason reported for not using a condom at last sexual
intercourse (57%) (Figure 6). Poor condom availability, lack of knowledge of condoms, partner
preference, and lack of preparation prior to sexual intercourse were also cited reasons.
STUDY FINDINGS
Health Vulnerabilities of Migrants from Pakistan | 31
Trusted Partner
Did not know about condom
Condom was not available
Did not prepare for sex in advance
Missing/unknown
Partner did not like or allow condom
0% 10%20% 30
%5
0% 60%40%
Figure 6: Reasons for not using a condom
About 16 per cent of returnee migrants report having sex in the country of destination; the majority
had between two and five sexual partners. Commercial sex workers were the most frequently reported
partner type, followed by girlfriend/boyfriends, friends, and casual acquaintances (Figure 7).
Commercial sex worker
Friends
Girlfriend/boyfriend
Spouse
Casual acquiantance
0% 20
%6
0% 80%40%
Figure 7: Sex partners in the country of destination (n=31)
Spouses were the least common sex partners among returnees, identified by only three of 31
migrants that had sex in the country of destination. Condom use at last sexual intercourse was
highest with spouses and commercial sex workers (>60%), followed by casual acquaintances and
friends. Data pertaining to condom use with girlfriend/boyfriend was not recorded (Figure 8).
STUDY FINDINGS
32 | Health Vulnerabilities of Migrants from Pakistan
Spouse (n=3)
Commercial sex worker (n=18)
Friends (n=6)
Casual acquiantance (n=5)
0% 20
%6
0% 80%40%
Figure 8: Returnee migrants who used a condom at last sex in the country of destination country (n=31)
Sexual violence in country of destination
Only 4 per cent of returnee migrants reported a history of forced sex, although 17 per cent of
migrants knew of peers who had been victims of sexual abuse in the country of destination. Among
them, the most commonly identified perpatrators were recruitment agents, followed closely by
colleagues. Friends and employers were also mentioned.
Substance abuse
Twenty-three per cent of respondents reported having used drugs in the past twelve months;
alcohol and hashish were the main substances used. Patterns were very similar among departing
and returnee migrants. Of those who had history of drug use, 8.6 per cent (n=8) had injected drugs.
3.0.3 Knowledge of health risks and prevention including HIV/AIDS
General health knowledge
Fifty-five per cent of returnee migrants believed that diseases can be transmitted from migrants to
partners and other family members. Of these respondents, 90 per cent identified HIV/AIDS as an
example; just over 50 per cent identified Tuberculosis, and roughly 40 per cent identified STIs and
malaria.
HIV/AIDS knowledge
When asked specifically about HIV/AIDS, just under two thirds had heard of HIV, while 74 per cent
were familiar with AIDS. Of those who had heard of AIDS, over 90 per cent were aware that HIV
could be transmitted through unprotected sex and from sharing needles. Far fewer respondents
were aware of mother-to-child transmission, particularly via breast-feeding. More than 55 per cent
identified sex with a commercial sex worker as a risk factor for HIV transmission (Figure 9). There
were few reports of HIV misconceptions, save for the false belief that sharing a toilet with an HIV
positive person is a method of disease transmission.
STUDY FINDINGS
Health Vulnerabilities of Migrants from Pakistan | 33
0% 10%20% 30%40% 100%60%50%70% 90%80%
Sexual intercourse without condom
Sharing infected needles/blades
Unsafe blood transfusions
From mother to fetus
During delivery
By breastfeeding
From mosqito/insect bite
Eating with HIV+ve person
Kissing HIV+ve person
Sharing toilet with HIV+ve person
By shaking hands with HIV+ve person
Sex with sex worker
Don’t know
Missing/unknown
Transmission route-oriented
(Correct)
Transmission route-oriented
(Misconceptions)
Partner-oriented
Figure 9: Reported causes of HIV transmission, among migrants familiar with AIDS
Perceived risk of contracting infectious diseases
The majority of migrants perceived themselves to not be at risk of Tuberculosis, HIV, STIs or Hepatitis
C. However, approximately a third of migrants reported not knowing their risk, which suggests poor
understanding of these diseases. Testing history was below 40 per cent for Tuberculosis, around
Risk of contracting Testing history Known testing facitlity
T
uberculosis
HIV
STIs
Hepatitis C
0% 10%20% 30% 40% 60%
50%
Figure 10: Perceived risk, test history and knowledge of testing facilities for Tuberculosis, STIs, HIV and
Hepatitis C (n=200)
STUDY FINDINGS
34 | Health Vulnerabilities of Migrants from Pakistan
30 per cent for HIV/STI and just above 20 per cent for Hepatitis C. About a third of respondent knew
where to receive HIV/STI testing, and less than half of respondents were aware of facilities that
performed Hepatitis C and Tuberculosis testing (Figure 10).
Pre-departure health orientation
Only 5 per cent of migrants (3% of departing; 8% of returnees) had received a pre-departure health
orientation (Figure 11). More migrants with farming or agricultural occupations reported receiving
a pre-departure health orientation.
Had orientation Did not have orientation Missing/unknown
All
Profession Mobility
Domestic work
Returnee
Others
Farmers/agriculture work
Labor
Departing
Technicians
Construction work
0% 20% 40% 60% 80% 100%10% 30% 50% 70% 90%
Figure 11: Respondents who received a pre-departure health orientation, by mobility and profession
Orientations most often covered general health, cited by 57 per cent of migrants who attended
an orientation, followed by HIV/AIDS (48%), physical abuse and exploitation (38%), as well as
occupational hazards (33%) (Table 6). Employers or recruitment agencies were the primary providers
of pre-departure health orientations (52%), followed by government organizations (23%).
Table 6: Health topics discussed during health orientations, as % of all, male and female migrants
who underwent a health orientation
Total (n=21) Men (n=6) Women (n=15)
%n%n%n
General health* 57.1% 12 66.7% 4 53.3% 8
HIV/AIDS* 47.6% 10 50.0% 3 46.7% 7
Physical abuse and exploitation* 38.1% 8 50.0% 3 33.3% 5
Occupational hazards 33.3% 7 0.0% 0 46.7% 7
TB* 33.3% 7 33.3% 2 33.3% 5
Rights of migrants** 28.6% 6 16.7% 1 33.3% 5
Sexual harassment** 23.8% 5 33.3% 2 20.0% 3
STIs** 14.3% 3 16.7% 1 13.3% 2
Mental health** 9.5% 2 0.0% 2 13.3% 2
*More than 20% missing data. **More than 50% missing data.
STUDY FINDINGS
Health Vulnerabilities of Migrants from Pakistan | 35
3.0.4 Accessibility and perceived quality of health services and health seeking behaviour
Health-care seeking behaviour
Of those migrants who had a history of illness in Pakistan, 70 per cent had sought health care during
their last episode of illness. The majority (62%) of those who sought health care had visited a public
health-care provider, 44 per cent sought care from a private health-care provider and 12 per cent
from a traditional healer. Village quacks, shops, pharmacies, friends or relatives, and homeopaths
were sparsely mentioned (<4% each) (Table 7).
Table 7: History of health-care seeking and health providers
Total Men Women
%n%n%n
History of illness in Pakistan
Yes 95.8% 383 96.2% 380 60.0% 3
No 4.3% 17 3.8% 15 40.0% 2
Total 400 395 5
History of health-care seeking among those with history of illness in Pakistan
Yes 70.0% 268 69.7% 265 100.0% 3
No 30.0% 115 30.3% 115 0.0% 0
Total 383 380 3
Location of medical consultation among those who have sought health care in Pakistan
Public health provider 61.9% 166 61.5% 163 100,0% 3
Private health provider 44.0% 118 44.5% 118 0.0% 0
Traditional healer 11.9% 32 11.7% 31 33.3% 1
Village quack/ shop/ pharmacy 3.4% 9 3.0% 8 33.3% 1
Friends/ relatives 2.6% 7 2.6% 7 0.0% 0
Homeopathy 3.7% 10 3.8% 10 0.0% 0
Other 0.0% 0 0.0% 0 0.0% 0
Missing/ unknown 0.4% 1 0.4% 1 0.0% 0
Total 268 265 3
Post-arrival medical check-up
Approximately half of returnee migrants believed it necessary to have a medical check-up following
return to their country of origin, however just over a quarter of returnees actually received one.
Among those who had, the majority chose to do so within three months of their return, most
often at provincial and district level government facilities. A general health check-up was the most
frequently reported type of health check-up received (82%), however only 46 per cent reported
having an HIV test, and 20 per cent and 19 per cent reported receiving STI and TB tests respectively .
Among those who did not receive a medical check-up following return to country of origin,
more than half attributed this to perceived insusceptibility. Other specific reasons included the
inconvenience of the check-up (14%), un-affordability (8%), as well as inaccessibility (6%).
STUDY FINDINGS
36 | Health Vulnerabilities of Migrants from Pakistan
Health-care accessibility in Pakistan
General medical treatment was widely available in the community as identified by 77 per cent of all
migrants. Other specific services, such as maternity care, dental care, optical care, and mental health
services, however, were less available (Table 8).
Table 8: Health-care services available in the community, as % of all, male, and female
migrants who identified each health-care service
Total (n=400) Men (n=395) Women (n=5)
%n%n%n
Medical treatment 76.5% 306 77.0% 304 40.0% 2
Maternity care/antenatal checks 26.5% 106 26.6% 105 20.0% 1
Dental care 25.0% 100 24.3% 96 80.0% 4
Lab tests 23.8% 95 23.3% 92 60.0% 3
Medical check-up 23.0% 92 22.8% 90 40.0% 2
Optical care 14.8% 59 14.4% 57 40.0% 2
X-ray 11.8% 47 11.6% 46 20.0% 1
Other treatment or unknown 9.3% 37 9.4% 37 0.0% 0
Mental health/psychological treatment 7.3% 29 7.3% 29 0.0% 0
Physiotherapy 4.5% 18 4.3% 17 20.0% 1
MRI 3.8% 15 3.5% 14 20.0% 1
Other 2.3% 9 2.3% 9 0.0% 0
Missing 0.0% 0 0.0% 0 0.0% 0
When questioned about specific preventative health-care services, the majority (63%) of respondents
indicated that primary health care was available in their community. Maternal and child health
(41%), health education (41%) and family planning (32%) were other available services mentioned
(Table 9). More than 20 per cent of respondents, however, could not verify whether or not these
services were actually available.
Table 9: Preventive health-care services available in the community, as % of all, male, and
female migrants who identified each preventive health-care service.
Total (n=400) Men (n=395) Women (n=5)
%n%n%n
Health education* 41.0% 164 40.8% 161 60.0% 3
Primary health care* 63.8% 255 63.8% 252 60.0% 3
HIV/STI testing* 6.3% 25 6.3% 25 0.0% 0
Family planning* 31.3% 125 31.4% 124 20.0% 1
Maternal and child health* 41.0% 164 41.3% 163 20.0% 1
*More than 20 per cent missing data.
When asked about specific curative health services, provision of medication was the most frequently
identified available service in their community, while STI management was reported as the least
available. Again the response rate was below 80 per cent for these questions (Table 10).
STUDY FINDINGS
Health Vulnerabilities of Migrants from Pakistan | 37
Table 10: Curative health-care services available in the community, as % of all, male, and
female migrants who identified each curative health-care service.
Total (n=400) Men (n=395) Women (n=5)
%n%n%n
Diagnosis* 62.5% 250 62.8% 248 40.0% 2
Surgery* 10.0% 40 9.9% 39 20.0% 1
Medicine* 64.0% 256 63.8% 252 80.0% 4
STI management* 5.8% 23 5.8% 23 0.0% 0
HIV* 42.3% 169 42.5% 168 20.0% 1
*More than 20 per cent missing data.
Both preventive and curative services were mostly provided by community government centres,
followed by private services and district government centres (Table 11).
Table 11: Providers of preventive and curative health-care services in the community, as % of
all, male and female migrants who identified each provider.
Preventive services Curative services
Total Men Women Total Men Women
% n % n % n % n % n % n
Govt. centre at
community level 47% 187 47% 187 0% 0 51% 203 51% 201 40% 2
Private 39% 156 39% 154 40% 2 41% 164 41% 160 80% 4
Govt. centre at district
level 36% 144 36% 141 60% 3 41% 162 40% 160 40% 2
NGO 15% 60 15% 59 20% 1 20% 81 21% 81 0% 0
Govt. centre at sub-
district level 4.5% 18 4% 17 20% 1 8% 30 7% 29 20% 1
Others 1% 5 1% 5 0% 0 7% 29 7% 29 0% 0
Missing/unknown 12% 49 12% 49 0% 0 3% 12 3% 12 0% 0
Note: percentages do not add to 100% due to multiple choices
The majority of migrants faced financial difficulties accessing health care in Pakistan: 58% found
health care in Pakistan to be unaffordable or difficult to afford, while 34% of migrants found health
care to be easily affordable or affordable (Figure 12).
Not aordable Aordable but still dicult Aordable Easily aordable
0% 20%40% 60%80% 100%10%30% 50%70% 90%
Figure 12: Perceived affordability of health-care in the community among all migrants
STUDY FINDINGS
38 | Health Vulnerabilities of Migrants from Pakistan
Sixty-four per cent of respondents felt that they could use the public health facilities any time, and
expressed moderate satisfaction with health facilities in their community; 32 per cent were satisfied
while 16 per cent reported they were unsatisfied.
Just over half (51%) of migrants expressed that they faced difficulties accessing health-care services,
citing the unavailability of doctors (55%), unaffordable costs (52%), long distances to health-care
centres (28%), and inconvenient operating times (22%) as the primary barriers (Figure 13).
Doctors not available
Long distance
Unaordable cost
Discrimination due to socioeconomic status
Missing/unknown
Lack of information
Others
Inconvenient operating time
0% 10% 20% 30% 50% 60%40%
Figure 13: Main barriers faced by migrants accessing health care in the country of origin (n=202)
Health-care accessibility in the country of destination
About 75 per cent of returnee migrants perceived health-care abroad to be easily affordable or
affordable, while 21 per cent found it to be unaffordable or difficult to afford. A further 6 per cent
did not know or did not provide an answer (Figure 14).
Not aordable Aordable but still dicult Aordable Easily aordable
0% 20%40% 60%80% 100%10%30% 50%70% 90%
Figure 14: Perceived affordability of health care in the destination country among returnee migrants
Among those who sought health care, the most common form of health-care financing was out-
of-pocket payments, with 56 per cent of migrants paying for their own health care. A further 30
per cent had their health care financed by insurance, although this is slightly under the 37 per cent
of migrants who had insurance abroad. Employers fully or partly paid for 12 per cent of returnee
migrants (Table 12).
Disaggregated by profession, domestic workers and labourers covered the greatest amount of
health-care costs using person income (75% and 67.7% respectively). However, each employment
group was small in size, which makes it difficult to draw conclusions.
STUDY FINDINGS
Health Vulnerabilities of Migrants from Pakistan | 39
Table 12: Financers of migrant health care in country of destination among returnee migrants
who sought health care, by sex and profession
Total
Fully
paid by
employer
Partially
paid by
employer
Self-paid Insurance Missing
% n % n % n % n % n
Sex
Men 113 8.0% 9 4.4% 5 56.6% 64 27.4% 31 3.5% 4
Women 1 0.0% 0 0.0% 0 0.0% 0 0.0% 0 100.0% 1
Profession
Labour 31 6.5% 2 3.2% 1 67.7% 21 12.9% 4 9.7% 3
Domestic work 4 0.0% 0 25.0% 1 75.0% 3 0.0% 0 0.0% 0
Construction work 36 5.6% 2 2.8% 1 41.7% 15 50.0% 18 0.0% 0
Farmer/agriculture 10 10.0% 1 0.0% 0 60.0% 6 30.0% 3 0.0% 0
Technicians 20 10.0% 2 5.0% 1 65.0% 13 10.0% 2 10.0% 2
Other 13 15.4% 2 7.7% 1 46.2% 6 30.8% 4 0.0% 0
Total 114 9 5 64 31 5
Friends or relatives were the prominently reported sources of support or accompaniment when
seeking health care abroad (68%); the second most common response was “no support or
accompaniment” (14%). About 13 per cent of migrants who sought health care were supported by
their employer/agency.
When asked about free services from specific providers, 47 per cent of all returnee migrants stated
that they were offered free services from government centres. Less than 10 per cent stated that
they had been offered free services from NGOs or private providers, however, the response rate was
lower than 50 per cent for these questions.
In the study, 85 per cent of respondents felt that they could use the public health services in their
destination country. About 60 per cent of returnee migrants expressed that they were very satisfied
or satisfied with health-care facilities in the country of destination. Only 1.5 per cent of all migrants
expressed dissatisfaction. The response rate for this question was 71 per cent. About a quarter of all
returnee migrants expressed that they had faced difficulties accessing health care in the destination
country. Among these individuals, the primary deterrents consisted of language barriers (48%), lack
of information (32%), unaffordable costs (31%) and discrimination due to migration status (31%)
(Figure 15).
STUDY FINDINGS
40 | Health Vulnerabilities of Migrants from Pakistan
Language barrier
Unaordable cost
Long distance
Lack of information
Fear of being reported or arrested
Fear of discrimination or dental of treatment
Missing
Administrative problems
Others
Denied access
Doctors are not available
Does not like going to the doctor
Discrimination due to migration status
Discrimination due to socioeconomic status
Inconvenient operating time
System is complex
Schedule of services not maintained
0% 10%20% 30
%5
0%40%5% 15%25% 45%35%
Figure 15: Main barriers faced by migrants accessing health care abroad, among returnee migrants who
expressed facing difficulties (n=59)
Mandatory health examination prior to departure
During the time of data collection, 44 per cent (n=176) of respondents had received a mandatory
health examination: 31 per cent of departing migrants and 58 per cent of returnee migrants.
According to the Bureau of Immigration, more than 90 per cent of migrants are expected to undergo
a mandatory health examination, as those migrants traveling to the Middle East require GAMCA
approval. The most popular location to acquire mandatory health examinations were GAMCA
approved centres in capital cities. Most migrants with history of a health examination prior to
departure recalled receiving a general health check-up, and the most specific test received was
a TB
test (29%), followed by a HIV test (30%) and STI test (15%). Two women reported having a mandatory
health examination, one of whom specified a general health check-up at a provincial government
centre and another who had an unspecified test at a district government centre (Table 13).
STUDY FINDINGS
Health Vulnerabilities of Migrants from Pakistan | 41
Table 13: Sources and procedures of mandatory health examinations prior to departure
(GAMCA approved), by sex
Total Men Women
%n%n%n
Source/location of pre-departure medical tests
Govt. Centre at district level 29.0% 51 28.7% 50 50.0% 1
Govt. Centre at provincial level 21.6% 38 21.3% 37 50.0% 1
Employer/Agency 19.9% 35 20.1% 35 0.0% 0
Govt. Centre at capital 14.2% 25 14.4% 25 0.0% 0
NGO 8.0% 14 8.0% 14 0.0% 0
Others 6.8% 12 6.9% 12 0.0% 0
Procedures during pre-departure health examination
General health check-up 83.5% 147 83.9% 146 50.0% 1
TB test 32.4% 57 32.8% 57 0.0% 0
HIV test 29.0% 51 29.3% 51 0.0% 0
STI test 14.8% 26 14.9% 26 0.0% 0
Other 4.5% 8 4.6% 8 50.0% 1
Missing 4.5% 8 4.6% 8 0.0% 0
Total 176 174 2
The patient experience when receiving blood tests was generally positive: the large majority (75%)
of patients were asked for consent, were explained about the nature of the text and received their
results. As an aggregate measure, 69 per cent those who underwent a mandatory medical test prior
to departure stated that all three protocols had been followed by the health provider (Figure 16).
Consent taken
Results shared
Test explanation provided
None of the three protocols followed
All three protocos followed
0% 10% 20% 40
%8
0% 100%60%30%70% 90%50%
Figure 16: Respondents who underwent a mandatory health examination prior to departure and who were
asked for consent, were given an explanation of the test and were provided test results
The study findings show that 18 per cent of mandatory health examinations prior to departure
were free of charge, however 90 per cent of health examinations that were not free of charge were
financed by migrant employers (Table 14).
STUDY FINDINGS
42 | Health Vulnerabilities of Migrants from Pakistan
Table 14: Respondents who underwent free mandatory health examinations and financiers
of non-free health examinations
Total Men Women
%n%n%n
% of migrants who underwent a free mandatory health examination
Yes 17.6% 31 17.8% 31 0.0% 0
No 77.3% 136 77.0% 134 100.0% 2
Missing/unknown 5.1 9 5.2% 9 0.0% 0
Total 176 174 2
Financers of mandatory health examinations for migrants who did not undergo free
examinations
Employer 90.4% 123 91.0% 122 50.0% 1
Self 8.1% 11 7.5% 10 50.0% 1
No response 1.5% 2 1.5% 2 0.0% 0
Total 136 134 2
Access to health information and communication
Access to media in Pakistan
Television proved to be the most accessed form of media (Figure 17), viewed by 85 per cent of
respondents, 68 per cent of which viewed every day. Radio was less popular, generally listened to
by 65 per cent of respondents, 40 per cent of which listened daily. Newspaper was read by 30 per
cent of migrants every day, and 37 per cent of migrants accessed the internet.
Missing/unknown Less than once a weekNever At least once a week Everyday
Television
Radio
Newspaper
0% 20% 40% 60% 80% 100%10% 30% 50% 70% 90%
Figure 17: Frequency of access to various forms of media among all respondents (n=400)
Men, younger age groups (less than 36 years), as well as construction workers and technicians
accessed the most television, while domestic workers appeared to access the least (Figure 18).
STUDY FINDINGS
Health Vulnerabilities of Migrants from Pakistan | 43
Men (n=395)
36 to 50 (n=64)
Less than 25 (n=140)
Technicians (n=70)
Domestic work (n=39)
Farmers/agriculture work (n=25)
Labor (n=127)
Women (n=5)
above 50 (n=11)
25 to 35 (n=185)
Other (n=59)
Construction work (n=80)
0% 20%40% 60%80% 100%10%30% 50%70% 90%
Less than once a weekNever At least once a week Everyday
Profession Age group Sex
Figure 18: Frequency of access to various forms of media among all respondents, by sex, age group, and profession
Sources of health information in the country of origin
Television, radio, newspaper, and educational institutions or peers were the most important sources
of health information among all respondents (Figure 19). Other popular sources included health
providers, homeopaths (Kabiraj/hakim), and billboards or posters. Departing migrants appeared to
have more access to health information from most media compared to returnee migrants. These
patterns were reinforced when migrants were asked their preferred method of health information
dissemination; 86 per cent preferred television. Radio and newspaper were the most preferred
methods following television (Figure 20).
TV*
Newspaper*
Treatment center/doctors**
NGO/health workers
Religious/community
Community event**
Radio*
Education institution/peer**
Kabiraj/hakim/homeopath**
Billboard/signboard/poster**
Magazine**
Leaet**
Outreach counseling**
0% 20% 40% 60% 80% 100%
TV
Newspaper*
Treatment center/doctors**
Education institution/peer**
Kabiraj/hakim/homeopath**
Leaet**
Radio*
NGO/health workers**
Billboard/signboard/poster**
Magazine**
Community event**
Outreach counseling**
0% 20% 40% 60% 80% 100%
Figure 19: Main sources of health information
(n=400)
Figure 20: Preferred methods for health
information dissemination (n=400)
Fifteen per cent of migrants (23% returnees; 8% departing) had received health related
communication materials from health providers in Pakistan (Table 15). Among those, 61 per cent
stated that the materials were easily understandable or understandable, while 20 per cent found
the materials understandable with some difficulties. No respondents reported that the materials
were not understandable.
STUDY FINDINGS
44 | Health Vulnerabilities of Migrants from Pakistan
Table 15:
History of receiving health communication materials from health providers in Pakistan
Total Departing Returnee Men Women
%n%n%n%n%n
Received health communication materials
Yes 15.0% 60 7.5% 15 22.5% 45 14.7% 58 40.0% 2
No 45.5% 182 44.5% 89 46.5% 93 45.6% 180 40.0% 2
Don’t know 27.0% 108 27.0% 54 27.0% 54 27.1% 107 20.0% 1
Missing/unknown 12.5% 50 21.0% 42 4.0% 8 12.7% 50 0.0% 1
Total 400 200 200 395 5
Ease of understanding
Easily understandable 5.0% 3 6.7% 1 4.4% 2 5.2% 3 0.0% 0
Understandable 66.7% 40 66.7% 10 66.7% 30 67.2% 39 50.0% 1
With some difficulties 20.0% 12 13.3% 2 22.2% 10 20.7% 12 0.0% 0
Missing/unknown 8.3% 5 13.3% 2 6.7% 3 6.9% 4 50.0% 1
Total 60 15 45 58 2
Health topic of primary interest was HIV/AIDS followed by STIs, Tuberculosis, Malaria, and mental
health for both departing and returnee migrants (Figure 21).
0% 10%20% 40
%8
0%60%30
%7
0%50%
HIV/AIDS
TB
Health services and providers
Others
STIs
Mental health
Malaria
Missing/unknown
Departing Returnee
Figure 21: Health topics respondents would like to receive more information about, as % of departing and
returnee migrants
Sources of health information in country of destination
In the country of destination television was once again the primary source of health information,
identified by 62 per cent of returnee migrants (Figure 22). This was followed by friends or relatives
(58%), radio (34%), health providers (24%), and billboards or posters (22%). When asked of the
preferred method of health information dissemination, respondents selected television as the
primary preferred method followed closely followed by newspaper, radio, health providers, and
friends or relatives (Figure 23).
STUDY FINDINGS
Health Vulnerabilities of Migrants from Pakistan | 45
TV*
Radio*
Billboard/signboard/poster**
Other
Magazine**
Community event**
Friend/Relative*
Health provider**
Newspaper*
Leaet**
Spouse or sexual partner**
Religious leader***
0% 20% 40% 60% 80%
TV
Newspaper*
Friend/Relative*
Billboard/signboard/poster**
Spouse or sexual partner**
Religious leader***
Radio*
Health provider**
Magazine**
Community event**
Leaet**
0% 20% 40% 60% 80% 100%
Figure 22: Main sources of health information
among returnee migrants
Figure 23: Ideal channels for migration health
information identified by returnee migrants
A quarter of migrants reported receiving health-related communication materials from health
providers or facilities in the country of destination (Table 16). However 30 per cent could not recall if
they had. Among them, 59 per cent had not received heath materials in their own language. 45 per
cent of migrants reported having difficulties understanding the content, while just over half found
the materials easily understandable or understandable.
Table 16: Provision of health communication materials in country of destination
Total Men Women
%n%n%n
Migrants who have received health materials from health providers/facilities
Received health materials 25.5% 51 23.6% 50 3.3% 1
Did not receive health materials 42.5% 85 42.1% 83 66.7% 2
Do not know 29.0% 58 29.4% 58 0.0% 0
Missing/unknown 3.0% 6 3.1% 6 0.0% 0
Total 200 197 3
Migrants who received health materials (language)
In their own language 39.2% 20 40.0% 20 0.0% 0
Not in their own language 58.8% 30 58.0% 29 100.0% 1
Do not know 2.0% 1 2.0% 1 0.0% 0
Missing/unknown 0.0% 0 0.0% 0 0.0% 0
Ease of understanding
Easily understandable 15.7% 8 16.0% 8 0.0% 0
Understandable 37.3% 19 38.0% 19 0.0% 0
With some difficulties 45.1% 23 44.0% 22 100.0% 1
Missing/unknown 2.0% 1 2.0% 1 0.0% 0
Total 51 50 1
STUDY FINDINGS
46 | Health Vulnerabilities of Migrants from Pakistan
Sources of HIV/AIDS information
The majority of respondents indicated television as their primary source of information on HIV/
AIDS, followed by radio, newspaper, and friends or relatives (Figure 24).
0% 10% 20% 40
%8
0%60%30
%7
0%50%
Television
Newspaper
Billboard/poster
Health worker
Peer education/NGO worker
Other (specify)
Radio
Magazine
Friend/Relative
Concern training
Missing/unknown
Don’t know
Figure 24: Health topics respondents would like to receive more information about, as % of departing and
returnee migrants
3.1 QUALITATIVE RESULTS
3.2.1 Health risks faced by migrants and their dependents
The majority of migrants, particularly those working in labour, described difficult working
environments. FGD respondents employed as truck drivers complained of having to drive long
distances alone, increasing their risk of accidents. Other FGD participants noted that employers
or recruitment agencies do not provide treatment or support on the job, and there were reports
of migrants being forced to continue working despite being ill. Only when the health condition is
severe, such as losing consciousness, will an individual be taken to hospital.
Key informants explained that the health conditions of outbound migrants have a strong economic,
social and cultural impact on their family members, due to reduced income and risk of social
exclusion when ill. The vulnerabilities of migrants and their families may be further exacerbated by
unsympathetic host government policies. Specifically, FGD respondents expressed disapproval of
the deportation policies often experienced in countries of destination, often imposed in the case of
severe or prolonged illness, which they considered unjust and financially overwhelming. In the case
of death, all airlines except for Pakistan International Airlines charge for three seats to repatriate
remains to the country of origin.
1.1.2 Health-care seeking behaviour and post-return medical check-up
Health-care seeking in both Pakistan and countries of destination is limited by the costs earlier
described, rooted in geographical, financial and administrative barriers. Additionally, one key
informant noted that individuals may be less likely to seek health care or return for follow up due
to socio-cultural barriers, namely a fear of being viewed negatively by health-care workers or other
STUDY FINDINGS
Health Vulnerabilities of Migrants from Pakistan | 47
society members that in turn links to “shyness” and conservatism. As noted by some key informants,
communication barriers and poor health awareness are further barriers to health-care seeking, as
the majority of migrant labourers are illiterate or have not received education beyond primary
school level.
As a result of these barriers, key informants pointed out that migrants do not typically opt for
non-essential health services. Reinforcing this, FGD participants noted that health-care seeking
behaviour is typically low unless enforced.
“When we depart to the destination country we did our medical test (mandatory health
examination) here… there is no such rule or regulation requiring a medical check-up for
migrants when they return to their home country.”
FGD respondent
However, when ill, several migrants agreed that they preferred to return home to seek health care,
due both to the lower costs as well as to the fewer administrative requirements in Pakistan, including
the lack of regulations on medical prescriptions.
“Health treatment in the destination country is very expensive; therefore we often come to
Pakistan for treatment.”
FGD, Labour migrant
To encourage health-care seeking, one key informant suggested that employers allocate a budget
for medical check-ups for migrant employees.
3.2.3 Knowledge of health risks and prevention
The majority of FGD participants did not know about HIV and other communicable diseases like
Hepatitis C. Indeed, health information for migrants is limited in Pakistan, and user-friendly and
culturally sensitive health communication materials for migrants abroad are not available. As
expressed by both key informants and FGD participants, the main sources of knowledge on
migration health services and programmes for migrants are thought to be travel agencies, overseas
agencies, medical test centres, relatives and friends. As the majority of outbound labour migrants
in Pakistan are illiterate, respondents suggested that posters and billboards, banners, television
advertisement, radio, and social media should be used to communicate health information. In
addition to these sources, FGD respondents indicated that information on health-related topics
should be disseminated at airports and passport offices. FGD respondents also suggested that free
brochures and emergency numbers should be provided to all migrants.
3.2.4 Pre-departure orientation
FGD respondents stated that there is no pre-departure training conducted in Pakistan or country of
destination. They felt it should be the responsibility of the state to provide any training, seminars or
workshops on health for migrant populations, and that the government has failed to do so. It was
also suggested that training should be provided in airports and passport offices prior to departure,
as it will not be available in destination countries. Key informants highlighted a particular need for
information on how migrants can access health care while abroad.
STUDY FINDINGS
48 | Health Vulnerabilities of Migrants from Pakistan
3.2.5 General health services in Pakistan
The quality of health services in Pakistan was generally perceived to be unsatisfactory. Participants
of the Focus Group Discussion pointed to low quality medication, unreliable government hospitals,
the lack of a quality assurance system for laboratories, and poorly trained and under-qualified health
and laboratory staff. Timeliness of test result delivery in the public sector was considered to be poor
by all key informants. Key informants also expressed that the attitudes and behaviours of health
professionals in the government sector towards migrants are unsatisfactory, and comparably better
among private providers. Participants noted a need for culturally sensitive counselling services and
improved logistic facilities within the region, such as emergency transportation.
Geographic, economic, administrative, and communication barriers limit accessibility to health
care in Pakistan, and were identified by the majority of research participants. Climate and weather-
related factors, long distances and difficult terrain present an obstacle for remote populations.
Fees for private health services were considered unreasonable among key informants and FGD
respondents. FGD participants added that the booming private health-care sector functions as a
“business”, with profit-making prioritized over patient welfare.
Organizational and administrative barriers manifest as time consuming procedures such as
registration, waiting lines, and Zakat3 paperwork, further compounded by low literacy and language
barriers leading to poor patient understanding of such procedures.
Respondents identified not requiring prescriptions for certain procedures and medications as one
positive feature of Pakistan’s public health system.
3.2.6 Migrant focused services in Pakistan
Key Informant Interviews (KII) and Focus Group Discussion (FGD) respondents expressed that there
are no preventive, screening, curative, palliative, or psychosocial government services targeting
migrant populations, and that inbound migrants are not entitled to public health services. The
GAMCA, however, is an exception: The majority of migrants are facilitated by GAMCA for mandatory
health examinations prior to departure,4 and some key informants noted that GAMCA sometimes
offers health promotion and education services to those migrants who present for an examination.
Five key informants, however, were unaware of these additional GAMCA services.
Some NGOs provide migrant-specific health services, however their scope is limited; three key
informants noted that they were aware of NGOs that only provide services to Afghan refugees, and
another respondent stated that NGO services are specific to situations related to political asylum.
Additionally service provision by NGOs is not well-known; six of the 16 key informants were unaware
that NGOs provided such services.
To address these issues, key informants suggested that a facility like GAMCA should be provided
in each major city, testing fees should be minimized, and migrants should be encouraged to test
on a regular basis. Respondents also suggested that there should be regular training and capacity
building sessions for health-care professionals, as well as regular staff meetings with both medical
and migration staff to encourage exchange of knowledge and mutual integration of ideas and
3 Zakat is a tax levied as almsgiving for the relief of the poor, however as explained by FGD participants, an individual
cannot benefit from Zakat unless the appropriate forms have been signed and approved, which can be subject to further
delays.
4 The required tests for GAMCA centres includes; physical examination, Chest X-ray, HIV test, HBs Ag, anti-HCV, VDRL,
Urine test, stool examination, Malaria test, and micro-filariasis test.
STUDY FINDINGS
Health Vulnerabilities of Migrants from Pakistan | 49
practices. It was suggested that a separate department for migrants should be established in
hospitals offering free or subsidized services for migrant groups.
3.2.7 Accessibility and perceived quality of health care in the country of destination
FGD respondents, particularly those within the group consisting mainly of labour migrants,
remarked on the inequity of health services and discrimination faced by migrants when seeking
health care in the country of destination.
“Quality treatment is only available for permanent residents. Migrants are treated in an
unequal manner in the destination country.”
FGD, Labour migrant
FGD respondents also considered health care abroad to be costly, as high as “four-fold those of
Pakistan”. They explained, however, that assistance is provided in the case of emergencies or
accidents in destination countries, unlike in Pakistan.
Health-care affordability abroad can be supplemented via a health card that entitles the holder
to free or subsidized health care. Health cards are issued by governments for migrants in select
countries. FGD respondents however reported difficulties associated with the health card; the
process of obtaining the cards is subject to extensive delays, and coverage schemes may only cover
designated hospitals, which may be inconveniently located and difficult to access.
Key informants indicated a need for a of continuum care, made possible through a registration or
tracking system to monitor and promote the health of migrants throughout the entire migration
process.
3.2.8 Mandatory health examination prior to departure
Mandatory health examinations prior to departure are conducted in Pakistan, but they are poorly
regulated. Respondents of the quantitative survey described the examinations as consisting of
Hepatitis B and C, HIV, Tuberculosis, Malaria and Typhoid tests. According to FGD participants,
laboratory staff are poorly trained and under qualified, and bribes are often made to obtain
certificates of medical fitness. Key informants further indicated that health certificates expire within
three months, adding a further administrative burden for migrants in countries of destination.
3.2.9 Higher level and multi-sectoral coordination
Key informants were asked about their awareness of policy issues relating to the health of migrants.
No respondents were aware of the International Health Regulation World Health Assembly (WHA)
Resolutions 57.19 and 58.17 (2005) and the World Health Assembly Resolution 61.17 (2008); nor
were they aware of the recommendations from the Regional dialogue on health challenges for
Asian migrant workers (2010), the Dhaka declaration (2011) or any other evidence based-country
policy framework.
DISCUSSION OF FINDINGS
50 | Health Vulnerabilities of Migrants from Pakistan
CHAPTER FOUR
DISCUSSION OF FINDINGS
DISCUSSION OF FINDINGS
Health Vulnerabilities of Migrants from Pakistan | 51
4.1 MIGRATION PROFILE
The population of this study was predominantly male, with only five female respondents. More than
80 per cent of respondents were under 35 years of age, and approximately half were married. The
majority of respondents had acquired some form of education. One quarter had no history of formal
education.
The majority of returnee migrants in the sample spent between one and three years abroad, a time
period long enough to become established and require health-care services. Data suggests that
migrants spent a longer time abroad than they originally intended to, however this may be due to
confounding by age.
The majority of migrants had experienced difficulties during the migration process mostly related to
finances but also due to poor and discriminatory treatment. Several studies support these findings,
with the exploitation of migrants, particularly in the Middle Eastern region, having been extensively
documented. This finding is important as the primary destinations of Pakistani migrants are
countries in the Middle East. The severity of these problems is not determinable from the available
data, however it appears that difficulties experienced did not deter returnee migrants from working
abroad multiple times and intending to do so again.
Friends and relatives of migrants were the primary sources of assistance during the pre-departure
migration phase. Only 10 per cent of respondents indicated that recruitment agencies provided
assistance. This indicates that there is great potential for employers and recruitment agencies to
increase the amount of assistance provided to migrants.
4.2 HEALTH RISKS AND VULNERABILITIES
Migrants included in this study tended to generally be in good physical health. One in two reported
experiencing illness within the past 6 months, which most frequently was described as minor health
problems. Roughly 10 per cent of respondents had experienced conditions related to stress, such as
hypertension and mental health problems. The severity of these mental illnesses is unknown, but
literature has shown that depression and anxiety tend to be more frequent and more severe among
economic migrants compared to the general population. This is due to factors such as cultural
bereavement and the loss of social structures. Despite this, it is positive that mental issues were
recognized and identified as health issues even when unprompted.
Migrants were more likely to report a history of occupational hazards when prompted compared
to when unprompted. Due to missing data and small sample sizes, patterns are difficult to derive,
however the higher frequency of occupational hazards among agriculture workers and labourers
is consistent with the physical risks faced by those in the primary sector. Effort should be made to
ensure that employment or insurance policies cover those most at risk of occupational hazards.
A surprisingly low proportion of migrants reported sexual activity; monogamy with a spouse was
the norm among respondents. However, data collected is skewed by a large percentage of no
responses, likely due to the culturally sensitive nature of the topic.
There was, however, a notable amount of sexual risk taking, with more than 20 per cent of those
sexually active male respondents engaging in commercial sex, as well as reported infrequent condom
use with all partners. While it is not possible to directly compare rates of change, it is apparent that
DISCUSSION OF FINDINGS
52 | Health Vulnerabilities of Migrants from Pakistan
the choice of sexual partner type did change dramatically, with commercial sex partners becoming
the most frequently reported partner type abroad. Condom use was highest with these partners at
64 per cent, indicating risk for possible disease transmission.
Substance abuse among this group of migrants was low (23%). Substances used were predominantly
hashish and alcohol. Of those who had a history of drug use there was a minimal number who had
injected drugs (n=8).
Few migrants reported sexual violence; the true percentage may be higher, however, due to
underreporting. The percentage of migrants that knew of someone else having experienced sexual
abuse (17%) may be low compared to other studies, but given the seriousness of sexual abuse and
exploitation, this still requires urgent attention. In particular, the fact that agents and colleagues
were the main perpatators of such acts highlights the need for increased transparency and fair
treatment within the recruiting and working environments.
4.3 HEALTH-CARE SEEKING BEHAVIOUR
Perceived insusceptibility appeared to be the primary barrier to seeking health-care services,
leading to low uptake of preventative medical check-ups but high uptake of curative services. For
example, one third of all respondents had received a STI test, and 85 per cent of those who already
had an STI had sought medical care.
Health-care seeking determined by subjective susceptibility to illness is problematic. Respondents
appear to underestimate their health risks as a result of an overestimated good health status. This is
well documented among young and able individuals, as well as among those with poor knowledge
of health issues. One third of migrants reported not knowing whether or not they were at risk
of Tuberculosis, HIV, STIs, or Hepatitis C. It is universally recognized that preventive health-care
seeking behaviors must be promoted to optimize health and minimize global health expenditure.
Improved health awareness is thus required to promote recognition of health risks and uptake of
health examination activities.
It must be acknowledged that the high rate of health-care seeking among those respondents
with history of illness also applied to those suffering from mental health problems. Awareness of
mental health and the validity of seeking health care for mental health related illness thus appears
reasonably high among respondents, which is notable given the tendency to overlook mental
health.
After perceived insusceptibility, health-care accessibility and affordability were the primary barriers
to health-care seeking. These factors could partly explain why only half of those who intended to
receive a post-return medical check-up actually attended one. This suggests the need for improved
health capacity and coverage of hard-to-read populations, particularly within the public health
system.
Health-care seeking behavior decreased while abroad. This is often expected due to the challenges
of accessing health infrastructure as a migrant, and is discussed in further detail below.
DISCUSSION OF FINDINGS
Health Vulnerabilities of Migrants from Pakistan | 53
4.4 HEALTH-CARE QUALITY AND ACCESSIBILITY IN THE COUNTRY
OF ORIGIN AND DESTINATION
Health-care accessibility was lacking in respondents’ communities in Pakistan. The range of available
health-care services was varied greatly and coverage was limited. For example, only 64 per cent of
migrants reported primary health care services available in their community, and just over 40 per
cent reported health education services. Less than two thirds of respondents felt they could access
public health facilities, sixteen per cent expressed dissatisfaction with the health system, and one in
two expressed barriers accessing health care that were largely related to poor health infrastructure,
such as unavailable doctors, long distances to clinics, and inconvenient operating times. Financial
difficulties were also a major problem to accessing health-care services in Pakistan.
Interestingly, health service accessibility and affordability increased substantially in countries
of destination; 85 per cent expressing that they could access public health services, 30 per cent
expressed experiencing problems accessing health care, and 2 per cent expressed dissatisfaction
with the health system abroad. Instead of infrastructural problems, barriers to health-care access
in countries of destination were largely related to difficulties with social integration, including
language barriers, discrimination, and lack of information.
This data suggests better quality health-care infrastructure abroad compared to that in Pakistan;
few returnee migrants cited distance or doctor availability as barriers to health care in destination
countries. Health cards provided by employers most likely further enabled accessibility, despite the
associated delays as limitations. The difference may also be attributable to the move from under-
resourced rural communities in Pakistan to resource-plenty urban areas in destination countries.
This highlights the need to improve Pakistan’s health-care quality to meet international standards.
However, there still remains much room for improvement to health-care accessibility abroad. Social
barriers suggest the need to minimize prejudice towards migrants and take measures to promote
assimilation, including the provision of comprehensive information about available health services.
Furthermore, financial barriers were mentioned be respondents. Given that only 12 per cent of
employers covered health-care costs and only 37 per cent of migrants had any form of insurance,
improving access to health-care financial support and schemes could work to ensuring equitable
access to health care in destination countries.
4.5 MANDATORY HEALTH EXAMINATION PRIOR TO DEPARTURE
Less than two thirds of returnee migrants had had undergone a mandatory health examination prior
to departure. This is notable considering that the majority of migrants had migrated to the Middle
East where certification of good health by GAMCA is typically required for migrants to obtain work
permits.
The data suggests adequate adherence to the internationally recognized SOPs of informed
consent and results sharing. There still exists much room for improvement; approximately one
third of migrants had not experienced any of the three protocols during their health examination.
Respondents also perceived examinations to be of poor quality and reported bribery associated
with falsified certificates of medical fitness. As local government facilities, and not employers or
recruitment agencies, were both the primary location for mandatory health examinations and the
worst performers in terms of patient experience, the capacities of these facilities in particular should
be targeted.
DISCUSSION OF FINDINGS
54 | Health Vulnerabilities of Migrants from Pakistan
The financial contributions of respondents for health examinations were minimal; 9 out of 10
migrants reported that their employer financed their mandatory health examination. This behaviour
on behalf of the employer is commendable and should be continued.
4.6 HEALTH KNOWLEDGE AND SOURCES OF INFORMATION
Health knowledge was limited among respondents, with just over one half able to explicitly
recognize that disease can be transmitted by close physical contact. While HIV was the most
frequently identified infectious disease, approximately one in four respondents were unfamiliar
with HIV. Among those who had heard of HIV, the large majority had practical knowledge of
prevention, such as the importance of protected sex. However, a handful respondents exhibited
misconceptions, and few were aware of mother to child transmission. This provides evidence for
the need for extensive health education, specifically addressing common misconceptions. Among
stakeholders, poor knowledge of international standards and conventions regarding migration
health indicates the lack of pressure or commitment to improving migrant health services, which
needs to be addressed.
Television was the most important communication channel for migrants, followed by the radio and
newspaper. These types of media were frequently accessed, and were identified as both actual and
ideal sources of general health information, as well as disease specific information such as HIV. The
data also suggests that health providers have great potential to deliver health messages, as they
were identified more often as ideal than actual sources of health information.
Health communication strategies must consider the quality and effectiveness of health materials
through various communication media. This is particularly the case when using printed media,
given the risk of language barriers and disadvantage to illiterate groups.
Almost a half of returnee migrants had difficulties understanding health materials provided abroad,
which can be explained by the fact that two thirds of returnee migrants did not receive health
materials from health providers in their own language. Language, however, is not the only factor;
even in Pakistan, one fifth of migrants reported difficulties understanding health materials.
More appropriate and evidence-based health communication is required in Pakistan, while use of
effective visuals, multi-lingual health materials should be employed in countries of destination to
disseminate health information. Furthermore, the potential of informal migrant networks must be
further utilized as friends or relatives were the second largest source of health information among
returnee migrants.
Pre-departure health orientations provide an additional platform to promote health awareness
among migrants, particularly those with reduced access to general media while in the destination
country. The data suggest that domestic workers in particular have reduced access to sources of
media, which may reflect the documented human rights violations of domestic workers in Gulf
countries. Equipping migrants with information prior to departure, on both health and rights,
would allow migrants increased control of their own health and living circumstances. Despite
Emigration Rule 27 that states pre-departure orientations should be provided to all migrants, only
five per cent of respondents reported having received one. This gross underachievement needs to
be ameliorated by stricter enforcement of this Rule.
DISCUSSION OF FINDINGS
Health Vulnerabilities of Migrants from Pakistan | 55
RECOMMENDATIONS
56 | Health Vulnerabilities of Migrants from Pakistan
CHAPTER FIVE
RECOMMENDATIONS
RECOMMENDATIONS
Health Vulnerabilities of Migrants from Pakistan | 57
The following recommendations have been made following the World Health Assembly Resolution
on the Health of Migrants Global Operational Framework. Improvements to migrant health can be
achieved through both health infrastructure developments within in Pakistan, as well as improved
employer or agency support and social integration while abroad. The definition of migrant health
needs to be universally recognized to include not only infectious diseases but also chronic conditions
and mental health concerns.
These improvements can only be attained through bilateral and national multi-sectoral
commitments both in Pakistan and in destination countries. Migrants should be active players in
the improvement of their own health and in the services they use. They should be equipped with
the necessary information to be aware of their health and to effectively utilize and pay for services.
Listed below are the gaps in effective migration health and applicable recommendations.
5.1 MONITORING MIGRANT HEALTH
Health research of migrants concentrates predominantly on newly arrived migrants and is
communicable disease focused. However, given the increases in migration flows, the duration
of stay and diversity of migrant populations there is great need for expanding migrant health
monitoring efforts. Research of migrant health should include social and economic risk factors, as
well as health throughout the migration process and long term effects of migration beyond first
generation migrants.
1. More research is needed to understand the female experience of migration;
2. More comprehensive research on the sexual behaviour of migrants throughout the migration
process would be useful to understanding their risks of STIs/HIV;
3. Research should be undertaken to consider destination country-specific migrant experiences
to enable custom interventions for Pakistani migrants;
4. More research should examine the health status of cross-border and irregular Pakistani
migrants, who are not frequently covered in current literature;
5. Regional research should be undertaken to identify key indicators that are acceptable and
useable across the region; and to identify the techniques of promoting the inclusion of
migration variables in existing censuses, national statistics, targeted health surveys and routine
health information systems, as well as in statistics from sectors such as housing, education,
labour and migration.
5.2 POLICY AND LEGAL FRAMEWORKS
Policy and legal frameworks that fail to take into account the health needs of migrants negatively
impact migrants’ right to health and inevitably their overall well-being. Policy should be aimed
at improving the health of migrants and must consider the interdisciplinary nature of the topic.
Countries and communities involved in the migration cycle must harmonize their efforts, support
and maintain policy that complies with international standard to ensure that the rights of migrants
are upheld.
RECOMMENDATIONS
58 | Health Vulnerabilities of Migrants from Pakistan
1. The Government of Pakistan should ratify the major migration related conventions: Convention
on the Protection of the Rights of All Migrant Workers and Members of Their Families and UN
Protocol to Prevent, Suppress and Punish Trafficking in Persons. Pakistan should also ratify the
two ILO conventions specific to migration: Migration for Employment Convention (Revised),
1949 and Migrant Workers (Supplementary Provisions), 1975. Ratification of these conventions
would demonstrate Pakistan’s commitment to protect the rights of migrants;
2. Bilateral agreements between Pakistan and migrant receiving countries should include the
health of migrants as an essential and ”non-negotiable” component;
3. Pakistan’s HIV policy should be developed to specifically include migrants as a key population;
4. Interactions should take place in the form of discussions, meetings and conferences with
representations from government, private agencies, NGOs/INGOs and migrants to develop
comprehensive policy and implementation mechanism enabling migrants to access health
care abroad free of discrimination. In particular, specific steps should be taken to limit
discrimination in the health-care environment, such as implementing no-tolerance policies;
5. Through a progressive empowerment model, field-level health workers migrants should be
informed of and engaged in the planning, implementation and oversight of migrant-friendly
health services, and health systems should facilitate an ongoing dialogue with migrant
communities and their representatives. Migrants should be included in these dialogues as
interpreters, intercultural mediators and educators in outreach programmes, and those with
health professional credentials from other countries can be supported to re-qualify and enter
practice.
5.3 MIGRANT SENSITIVE HEALTH SYSTEMS
Health systems have been challenged to provide services inclusive of migrants throughout the
migration process. In addressing the health needs of migrants, the public health approach should
ensure that the health rights of migrants are upheld; disparities in access and health status should
be avoided; excess mortality and morbidity should be reduced; and the negative impact of the
migration process are minimised. The aim of migrant sensitive health systems is to incorporate the
needs of migrants so as to facilitate their access to health services in the countries of origin, transit
and destination.
1. Recruitment agencies and employers should take on increased responsibility for the well-
being of migrants, particularly concerning health-care financing and providing pre-departure
orientations;
2. A system involving a third-party, overseeing authority should be developed, or stricter
regulations should be applied to ensure recruitment agencies or employers adhere to their
commitments in terms of health insurance and labour contracts;
3. Pakistan should continue to invest in improved health infrastructure and health provider
capacity, particularly targeting district and provincial public health facilities, which are in
particular need of improved quality of care. Activities should include;
a. Provision of training and disseminating guidelines to ensure implementation of SOPs
such as informed consent, test result sharing, and post-test counselling;
RECOMMENDATIONS
Health Vulnerabilities of Migrants from Pakistan | 59
b. Increasing health-care accessibility in rural areas;
c. Implementing universal health coverage;
4. Pakistan needs to develop a regulatory mechanism to effectively monitor the activities of
private health providers, recruitment agencies, and medical testing centres;
5. Integration of migrant health into the health-care system and recognition of migrants as a
particular group with their own health risks and needs should be promoted through capacity
building sessions as well as regular staff meetings with both medical and migration staff to
encourage exchange of knowledge and best practices;
6. The private health sector should become more patient-friendly and should face increased
regulations by the government of Pakistan to reduce out-of-pocket expenditure;
7. A registration or tracking system should be established for Pakistani migrants and coordinated
with the health systems of receiving countries to enable a continuum of care for Pakistani
migrants while abroad;
8. Popular media, particularly television and radio, should be used to spread health messages
targeting migrants. These programmes should also be made available in health facilities to
supplement print materials;
9. Health providers should be harnessed for improved health education. Improved health
materials should be developed, using effective content and language.
10. Through these means, migrants should be provided comprehensive and practical information
on:
zo Specific health issues, including relevant communicable diseases such as HIV, TB,
and hepatitis, occupational hazards, mental health problems, including those related to
sexual violence, as well as the validity of seeking health care for these conditions;
zo Availability of health care and health insurance;
zo The importance of condoms and demanding use;
11. Employers and recruitment agencies should ensure that migrants, especially those seeking
domestic work, have access to comprehensive pre-departure orientations which feature
health information tailored to the destination country. Content should be standardized and
should encompass general health check-ups, immigrant rights and access to health care in the
destination country, as well as specific diseases and conditions related to their work, including
comprehensive information on HIV/AIDS, Tuberculosis, mental health, and sexual violence.
5.4 PARTNERSHIPS, NETWORKS AND MULTI-COUNTRY FRAMEWORKS
Sound management of migration requires collaboration and cooperation at the global, regional,
inter-regional and national levels, as well as with sectors and institutions involved in the migration
process. Specifically alliances with and engagement of civil society organizations and the private
sector are integral to ensure migrants health rights are upheld and that they have sustained access
to health services in countries of origin, transit and destination.
RECOMMENDATIONS
60 | Health Vulnerabilities of Migrants from Pakistan
1. Interactions should occur in the form of discussions, meetings and conferences with
representations from government, private agencies, NGOs/INGOs and migrants to establish
a comprehensive policy and implementation mechanism relating to addressing the health
vulnerabilities of migrants;
2. The Government of Pakistan should take initiatives of interministerial coordination between
stakeholder agencies, especially Ministry of Population Welfare, Ministry of Labour and Ministry
of National Health Services, Regulation and Coordination to facilitate the foreign employment
process. The Human Rights Commission and the National Commission of the Status of Women
should also be included in this national level broader coordination to strengthen monitoring
mechanisms of health rights of migrants.
Health Vulnerabilities of Migrants from Pakistan | 61
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Health Vulnerabilities of Migrants from Pakistan
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ResearchGate has not been able to resolve any citations for this publication.
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State of Health of Migrants: Mandatory Testing
CARAM Asia 2007 State of Health of Migrants: Mandatory Testing. Kuala Lumpur. Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) 2014 Pakistan Fact Sheet 2014. Washington, D.C.