Providing quality health services to Ukrainian refugees and migrants

Since the start of the Ukrainian crisis on February 24, 2022, millions of people have fled Ukraine, crossing borders into neighboring countries.

Refugees and migrants from Ukraine may face challenges that hinder their access to health care in host and host countries, such as language, financial and cultural barriers, discrimination and social exclusion . They have specific health needs and vulnerabilities requiring culturally appropriate care that recognizes the impact of migration and displacement on their physical and mental health.

Today, the WHO publishes Providing quality health services to Ukrainian refugees and migrants, the first WHO course in video format to help health workers in host and host countries deliver quality and safe care that meets the particular health circumstances and needs of Ukrainians who seek assistance medical. The course is freely available on OpenWHO.org where it can be completed when and where needed, with options to stream or download the video for offline use.

Developed by WHO’s Health and Migration Program alongside clinicians providing health services to refugees and migrants, the 30-minute video course features six case studies that reflect common health issues of conflict-affected populations fleeing Ukraine:

  • Case study 1: Communicable diseases: management of tuberculosis
  • Case study 2: Non-communicable diseases: managing diabetes
  • Case study 3: Reproductive health
  • Case Study 4: Mental Health
  • Case study 5: Cancer and palliative care
  • Case study 6: Gender-based violence: Sexual assault

Each case study summarizes relevant skills and behaviors that health workers should adopt to provide quality and safe care to refugees and migrants from Ukraine. The skills and behaviors are adapted and applied from the WHO Refugee and Migrant Health Standards: Global Competency Standards for Health Workers, published in December 2021, to support health workers in providing care culturally appropriate for refugee and migrant populations.

By taking this course, health workers will be able to identify and employ culturally appropriate behaviors, practices, communication techniques, and strategies that are respectful of a person’s cultural, religious, and linguistic needs in the daily provision of health services to refugees and migrants from Ukraine.

Strong health systems are sensitive to the needs of refugees and migrants, their languages ​​and their particular health conditions. Health workers in home and host countries play a critical role in delivering people-centred health services and building the resilience of health systems to meet the health needs of these populations.