Health Status and Health Needs of Foreign Migrant Workers in Tajikistan: Legal, Social, Community, and Individual Aspects

Author/s: Rukhshona Kurbonova, Ilhom Bandaev, Mariya Samuilova
Language: English
Publication Type: Scientific Report (Journal)(External)

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The article presents the results of the research conducted in the Republic of Tajikistan in 2012-2013 among foreign migrant workers from the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan, People's Republic of China, the Islamic Republic of Iran, the Republic of Turkey and the  Republic of Uzbekistan. The research reconfirms that migrant experience different levels of vulnerability to health issues depending on their legal status, working and living conditions, as well as depending on the extent of knowledge on their right to health, the barriers they may face in terms of access to health care, and their level of integration in the host society. The limited cross-border cooperation between the Republic of Tajikistan and countries of origin of migrant workers and the lack of a system to monitor the health of migrants has negative effects on the proper management of migrants’ health both from the perspective of receiving and sending countries. A policy review of the Republic of Tajikistan illustrated that the country has adopted and ratified a number of international and national instruments which guarantee equal rights and access for foreign nationals to health services in Tajikistan. Despite the country’s economic difficulties and limited funding of the health care system, Tajik government is putting forth efforts to meet the health needs of foreign nationals residing in the country by providing access to health services, for example providing free TB treatment and antiretroviral therapy. At the same time, international support in strengthening the healthcare system response to the needs of foreign migrant workers, facilitating collaboration between sending countries and Tajikistan, and providing technical support on developing cross-border mechanisms on migrant health promotion is recommended. The study findings suggest that regular research of foreign migrant workers’ health is very much needed to improve the knowledge on migration dynamic in Tajikistan and its impact on public health.