The WHO suggests that lack of access to medical care causes Moroccan migrants in Europe to be more susceptible to health problems than Europeans.
By Amal El Attaq
The World Health Organization (WHO) has found that immigrants from Morocco are more likely to have diseases in Europe than other Europeans.
In the Netherlands, migrants from Morocco “had a higher risk for cardiovascular diseases than the host majority population, and this risk did not change with duration of stay or cultural adaptation,” said the WHO report.
Ill health may be linked to weight problems. WHO added that “some evidence suggests that, in Europe, the prevalence of overweight and obesity is higher for migrant children of both sexes from Morocco and Middle East.”
The report also found that girls with migrant background were more likely to be overweight or obese than migrant boys.
The report related that national laws can conflict with international ones in providing the fundamental right to health.
The WHO attributes the higher prevalence of diseases to a lack of adequate medical care and highlighted the case of pregnant women. “Frequently, irregular migrants do not have access to antenatal and postpartum health care services and are often limited to emergency care services,” said the report.
The report noted higher rates of cardiovascular diseases among migrant populations and speculated “prevalence may be linked as much to socioeconomic factors as to migration-specific factors.”
The report called for European countries to provide medical services for migrants and ensure they have access to medical facilities with good diagnostic methods.
According to the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), Moroccans were the second most common national to immigrate to Europe during 2018. A total of 12,745 Moroccan immigrants attempted to get to Europe via the Mediterranean; among them, 11,342 migrants survived the journey to the continent.