Background: Migration is difficult to measure because it is highly repeatable. Health and Demographic Surveillance Systems (HDSSs) provide a unique opportunity to study migration as multiple episodes of migration are captured over time. A conceptual framework is needed to show the public health implications of migration.
Objective/design: Research conducted in seven HDSS centres [International Network for the Demographic Evaluation of Populations and Their Health (INDEPTH) Network], published in a peer-reviewed volume in 2009, is summarised focussing on the age-sex profile of migrants, the relation between migration and livelihoods, and the impact of migration on health. This illustrates the conceptual structure of the implications of migration. The next phase is described, the Multi-centre Analysis of the Dynamics In Migration And Health (MADIMAH) project, consisting of workshops focussed on preparing data and conducting the analyses for comparative studies amongst HDSS centres in Africa and Asia. The focus here is on the (standardisation of) determinants of migration and the impact of migration on adult mortality.
Results: The findings in the volume showed a relatively regular age structure for migration among all HDSS centres. Furthermore, migration generally contributes to improved living conditions at the place of origin. However, there are potential negative consequences of migration on health. It was concluded that there is a need to compare results from multiple centres using uniform covariate definitions as well as longitudinal analysis techniques. This was the starting point for the on-going MADIMAH initiative, which has increased capacity at the participating HDSS centres to produce the required datasets and conduct the analyses.
Conclusions: HDSS centres brought together within INDEPTH Network have already provided strong evidence of the potential negative consequences of migration on health, which contrast with the beneficial impacts of migration on livelihoods. Future comparative evidence using standardised tools will help design policies for mitigating the negative effects, and enhancing the positive effects, of migration on health.
2013. Vol. 6, 1-6 p.
migration, health and demographic surveillance system, determinants, mortality, event history analysis