In a move addressing the health concerns of Nepali migrants, the Ministry of Health, Nepal is planning for a new National Migration Health Policy (NMHP).
In this regard, the Ministry of Health held discussions with the UN Migration Agency, International Organization for Migration (IOM), in Kathmandu on October 12, 2017.
Speaking on the matter, the IOM Nepal Chief of Mission Paul Norton said the Sustainable Development Goal 3.8 on universal health coverage cannot be achieved without addressing the health needs of migrants and refugees.
“This policy will provide an opportunity to promote a more coherent and integrated approach to heal, beyond the treatment of specific diseases for all populations, including migrants, irrespective of their legal and migratory status,” Norton added.
In its statement, IOM informed that the policy would address health concerns of the Nepali migrants at all stages of the migrant process while also protecting host communities from public health threats related to migration.
NMHP is part of the project, ‘Strengthening Government Capacity in the Development and Implementation of a National Strategic Action Plan on Migration and Health in Nepal,’ put forth by IOM in collaboration with the Nepali Health Ministry, and is funded by IOM Development Fund.
According to IOM, Nepali migrants have made a major contribution towards the economic development of Nepal.
As per the Department of Foreign Employment, over 50 percent of all the Nepalis households currently have at least one migrant from their family living abroad or in Nepal as a returnee.
In terms of remittance-receiving countries, Nepal stands 23rd in global ranking and 3rd in terms of the contribution to GDP through remittances after Tajikistan and Kyrgyz Republic, IOM informed.
UN agencies, Nepali Government officials, development partners, academia, NGO, private sector firms and media are among those who attended the meeting.