PODCAST: Winter is coming

As Europe shuts down in response to the spread of COVID-19, other African countries are just beginning to grapple with the early signs of the pandemic. In this show, we discuss the COVID-19 response in South Africa, where an impending winter, a long history of the HIV-AIDS pandemic, and xenophobic attitudes are combining to generate some surprising and unexpected responses to the crisis. Leading Public Health specialist, Professor Jo Vearey chats to Abbey Steele and Darshan Vigneswaran. Click here to listen to the podcast.

OP-ED: Foreign migrants must be included in Covid-19 response

Urgent measures are required to ensure we include all foreign migrants – not only tourists and international travellers from high- and medium-risk countries – in our response to Covid-19. There needs to be assurance that, regardless of their current documentation status, no foreign migrant will face any sanctions when engaging with state authorities, including when seeking healthcare or being included in contact tracing. Without this, our efforts to reduce the spread of Covid-19 will fail.

OP-ED: Hypocrisy in the time of Covid-19

Whether the apparent lack of consideration of foreign migrants is a result of their continued exclusion in public health planning, or due to the initial cases of Covid-19 identified in South Africa being imported from outside of the African continent, is irrelevant. Perhaps the tables have turned and recognition of the ways in which international tourist travel can be associated with the spread of infectious diseases has been brought to light, challenging and perhaps even silencing, at least for now, the pervasive blaming of foreign migrants for the health challenges faced in South Africa.

OP-ED: Border walls don’t stop viruses. But this might

An effective response to South Africa’s coronavirus outbreak is an inclusive response. This keeps migrants safe and it keeps everyone in South Africa healthy. It reduces the need for people to cross the border through irregular routes that may not only be dangerous but do not have the healthcare workers needed to screen people for the new virus. Effective management of this public health crisis will involve all of us. This would truly be a case of, what Home Affairs Minister Aaron Motsoaledi recently called, “international solidarity”.

World Migration Report – Migration & Health: current issues, governance and current knowledge gaps

Vearey, J., Hui, C. and Wickramage, K. (2019) Chapter 7: Migration and Health: current issues, governance, and current knowledge gaps in: McAuliff M. and Khadria, B. (eds) World Migration Report. International Organization for Migration: Geneva [OPEN ACCESS] There is a dynamic and complex relationship between migration and health. Migration can lead to greater exposure to health risks, … Continue reading World Migration Report – Migration & Health: current issues, governance and current knowledge gaps