Defining indicators for disease burden, clinical outcomes, policies, and barriers to health services for migrant populations in the Middle East and North African region: a suite of systematic reviews

Author/s: Farah Seedat, Stella Evangelidou, Moudrick Abdellatifi, Oumnia Bouaddi, Alba Cuxart-Graell, Hassan Edries, Eman Elafef, Taha Maatoug, Anissa Ouahchi, Liv Mathilde Pampiri, Anna Deal, Sara Arias, Bouchra Assarag, Kenza Hassouni, Aasmaa Chaoui, Wafa Chemao-Elfihri, Mahmoud Hilali, Azeddine Ibrahimi, Mohamed Khalis, Mansour Wejdene, Ali Mtiraoui, Kolitha Wickramage, Dominik Zenner, Ana Requena-Méndez, Sally Hargreaves the MENA Migrant Health Working Group
Language: English
Publication Type: Scientific Report (Journal)(External)

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Introduction: The Middle East and North Africa (MENA) is characterised by high and complex migration flows, yet little is known about the health of migrant populations, their levels of under-immunisation, and access to healthcare provision. Data are needed to support regional elimination and control targets for key diseases and the design and delivery of programmes to improve health outcomes in these groups. This protocol describes a suite of seven systematic reviews that aim to identify, appraise, and synthesise the available evidence on burden and clinical indicators, policies, and barriers related to these mobile populations in the region.

Methods and analysis: Seven systematic reviews will cover two questions to explore: 1) the burden and clinical outcomes and 2) the policies, uptake, and the barriers for the following seven disease areas in migrants in the MENA region: tuberculosis, HIV and hepatitis B and C, malaria and neglected tropical diseases, diabetes, mental health, maternal and neonatal health, and vaccine-preventable diseases. We will search electronic databases for studies in any language (year 2000 to 2023), reference-check relevant publications, and cross-check included studies with experts. We will search for grey literature by hand searching key databases and websites (including regional organisations and MoH websites) for country-specific guidelines and talking to our network of experts for local and regional reports and key datasets. We will assess the studies and policies for their quality using appropriate tools. We will meta-analyse the data if they are of sufficient volume and similarity by disease outcome. Where meta-analysis is not possible and where data are on policy, we will narratively synthesise the evidence using summary tables, figures, and text.

Ethics and dissemination: We anticipate disseminating the findings through peer-reviewed publications, conferences, and other formats relevant to all stakeholders. We are following PRISMA guidelines and protocols will be registered on PROSPERO.

Region/Country (by coverage)