Summer School on Migrant and Refugee Health, Italy July 10-14

HIA is pleased to announce the 1st Summer School on Refugee and Migrant Health, an intense 5-day course offered under the umbrella of the WHO European Knowledge Hub on Health and Migration. The Summer School will take place in Syracuse, Italy, on 10–14 July 2017, and is organized in collaboration with the regional health authorities of Sicily, and in collaboration with the International Organization for Migration.


The Summer School seeks to improve participants’ knowledge and understanding of the main health issues and needs of refugees and migrants, and of the broader public health and health-system implications of large-scale migration in origin, transit and destination countries. It provides a space for bridging research, policy and practice; sharing practical, real-world knowledge and experience; and fostering debate and critical thinking.

The theme of this year’s Summer School is “Managing the public health aspects of migration”. It will include a combination of plenary presentations, workshops, interactive discussions and panels. Faculty will include international experts from different regions and disciplines relevant to the area of migration and health.

The course includes a field trip to a point-of-entry location in Sicily known for receiving regular arrivals of refugees and migrants. The trip will provide participants with first-hand knowledge of how authorities in Italy are currently managing the public health challenges related to migration.

Beyond the course curriculum, the Summer School also offers networking opportunities through social events and possibilities for alumni to become connected with WHO/Europe’s migration and health work through the Knowledge Hub on Health and Migration and other ongoing activities.

The course will be delivered in English only.

At the end of the Summer School, participants will understand:

  • the relevance of migration within public health, the key public health implications of the migration phenomenon and the effects of social, economic and cultural determinants on the health of refugees, asylum seekers, and migrants;
  • the potential of intersectoral policies and actions to improve the health of migrating populations;
  • the process of mainstreaming and converging policy agendas with a special focus on health, migration, human rights, and gender;
  • the health status of migrant populations and the impact of the epidemiological transition on the health of migrants;
  • migrants’ access to health care, including existing barriers and possible policy options to overcome them;
  • the economic argument in relation to migrant health;
  • effective strategies to design and implement outreach programmes targeting migrant populations; and
  • emerging issues and ongoing policy debates in the field of migration and health at European and global levels.

Building upon the European experience to strengthen capacity on refugee and migrant health

An unprecedented number of refugees and migrants have arrived in European countries in recent years. Over 1.3 million have arrived by the Mediterranean Sea since 2015; this is in addition to the almost 3 million Syrian refugees living in Turkey.

WHO/Europe is working closely with ministries of health to enhance the public health response to large-scale migration. In September 2016, the WHO European Region became the first region to adopt a strategy, action plan and resolution on refugee and migrant health. These documents identify 9 priority areas with specific actions to enhance the public health response to migration. The need to improve the capacity of the health sector to deal with refugee and migrant health issues was one of the key recommendations made following the assessment missions conducted across the Region. It is also a priority action identified in the action plan.

The Summer School on Refugee and Migrant Health aims to provide the necessary guidance, training, and support tools to enable public health workers, service providers and planners to understand and implement appropriate migrant-sensitive interventions while enabling the sharing of knowledge and skills among participating countries.

Target audience

The main target audience is composed of high-level technical government officials. A number of seats will also be reserved for researchers with a record of experience in the area of migration and health. The Summer School will accept a maximum of 70 participants. Following an application process, the organizers will inform participants about their acceptance into the course.


Registration is now open and closes on 21 May 2017, to apply click here.

To take part in the Summer School, accepted applicants must confirm their participation through an online registration process and pay a registration fee of €100. This fee covers the costs of tuition, course materials, field trip, coffee breaks and lunches on all 5 days of the course, as well as 1 evening reception with dinner.


Participants are responsible for organizing and covering their own travel expenses. A travel guide with information on transportation and recommended hotels will be available.

For more information, please visit the WHO- Europe website.