Migrants across Europe have less control over their health particularly because they lack the skills to easily access health information. MEDICE supports migrant women, adult and language educators, health practitioners, social workers and volunteers at European level by providing to them tools designed by following a European approach and dimension, thanks to the project transnational nature. Researchers predict that the numbers of migrants will keep growing. We are faced with a European challenge that needs European cooperation to address the growing needs of migrants.
According to the Report “Promoting the health of refugees and migrants” (WHO, 2017) women, children including unaccompanied minors, and people with disabilities – are particularly vulnerable to health problems. These individuals are at higher risk of developing communicable and noncommunicable diseases, including mental health problems. Migration and displacement can also pose specific health threats, including sexual violence, especially against women and girls. This is particularly significant, since women and girls who are refugees or migrants often face diverse sexual and reproductive health challenges and are most vulnerable to preventable mortality and morbidity arising from lack of sexual and reproductive health services.
The Charter of Fundamental Rights of the European Union states that “everyone has the right of access to preventive health care and the right to benefit from medical treatment under the conditions established by national laws and practices”. However, legal status has proved to be one of the main formal barriers to migrants' access to healthcare services, and communication and cultural differences the main informal barriers.
The MEDICE project “Migrant Women as Healthcare Mentors” aims at facilitating the access of migrant women and their children to the healthcare services of their host countries by developing innovative language learning tools related to healthcare issues. These are available to adult language educators and to migrants for self-learning purposes.
The project is a great experience of creative interaction among European partner institutions and an opportunity for professional and personal growth of all participating stakeholders, in the light of a needed service to migrant women of local communities across Europe.