As we enter the last day of our panel discussion, I would like to thank the all the panelists and community members for their contributions to this point.
We have covered a range of topics: how to measure TB among migrants, how to mitigate the risks of TB in these populations, what international instruments, legal and policy approaches can be helpful in establishing a continuum of TB care for migrants, how health systems can be adapted to make them more effective at providing care for migrants with TB.
Many good ideas and examples have emerged from this online conversation. We should now consider how to implement these ideas, recognizing that the decision of a country, state, or locality about how to manage TB among migrants is inherently political. It then follows that the decision to adopt policies to address TB in migrants will require political will.
We also should recognize that xenophobia and anti-immigrant sentiments are growing in many migrant destinations like the United States, Europe and Australia. In this context, raising awareness about the need for comprehensive, humane policies for the management of TB in migrants carries a risk of stigmatizing these groups, which could be counter-productive.
Clearly, some part of the responsibility to develop TB control policies for migrants will fall to us, the people engaged in this panel discussion. So, community members and experts, how should we advocate for migrant communities and better TB care while avoiding stigmatizing these groups in the process?
I've link below to an article from the Chicago Tribune and another from a US media watchdog group that highlights the problem of TB stigma among migrants. I also provide a link to an interesting piece about how xenophobia may be part of something called the "behavioral immune system", which should probably be considered as we think about avoiding stigmatizing migrants.
Link leads to: http://articles.chicagotribune.com/2009-02-16/news/0902150175_1_tb-tuberculosis-border/2
Link leads to: http://mediamatters.org/blog/2016/04/25/right-wing-media-keeps-rehashing-xenophobic-smear-immigrants-bring-diseases/210076
Link leads to: http://www.theatlantic.com/science/archive/2016/01/the-disease-theory-of-xenophobia/423975/