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Medical care for migrant children in Europe: a practical recommendation for first and follow-up appointments


Between 2015 and 2017, an estimated 200,000 to 400,000 children were seeking asylum each year in EU/EEA countries. As access to high-quality health care is important, we collected and compared current recommendations across Europe for a consensus recommendation on medical care for migrant (asylum-seeking and refugee) children. Existing recommendations were collected from published literature and identified through national representatives from paediatric societies of 31 EU/EEA countries through the European Academy of Paediatrics (EAP). Recommendations were systematically extracted and collected in a database. Those mentioned in at least one recommendation were evaluated for inclusion, and evidence on recommendations was specifically identified in literature searches focused on recent evidence from Europe. For eight EU/EEA countries, a national recommendation was identified. Growth and development, vision and hearing impairment, skin and dental problems, immunisations, anaemia, micronutrient deficiency, helminths, hepatitis B and C, human immunodeficiency virus, malaria, schistosomiasis, syphilis, tuberculosis, mental health disorder and sexual health were most frequently mentioned and therefore selected for inclusion in the recommendation.

Conclusion: The current document includes general recommendations on ethical standards, use of interpreters and specific recommendations for prevention or early detection of communicable and non-communicable diseases. It may serve as a tool to ensure the fundamental right that migrant children in Europe receive a comprehensive, patient-centred health care.

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The author would like to thank Ayesha Kadir and Anders Hjern for helpful comments on the manuscript. We would like to thank René-Marie Meignan for designing the icons.

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LS, CW, SdT and NR conceived the manuscript. LS, CW and NR performed the acquisition. LS And NR

wrote the first draft of the manuscript. TS, UvB and JB critically and substantially revised the draft of the manuscript. All authors approved the final manuscript.

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Correspondence to Nicole Ritz.

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Schrier, L., Wyder, C., del Torso, S. et al. Medical care for migrant children in Europe: a practical recommendation for first and follow-up appointments. Eur J Pediatr 178, 1449–1467 (2019).

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  • Asylum-seeking children
  • Refugee
  • Check-up
  • Health care
  • Immigrant
  • Unaccompanied minor
  • Vaccination
  • Immunisation
  • Tuberculosis