Infection of the invisible: Impressions of a tuberculosis intervention program for migrants in Istanbul
Jamieson, Erol Maral
Yasin, Neşeriz Yeşim
Biehl, Kristen Sarah
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This paper reviews the experience of the Istanbul Tuberculosis Aid Program, which targeted tuberculosis (TB) disease in the growing irregular migrant populations of Istanbul. This experience illustrated the importance of community-based public health interventions when dealing with an infectious disease like TB among vulnerable groups. Our data is derived primarily from a qualitative study carried out with program stakeholders. We summarize lessons for success of ITAP as: (1) Strengthening impact and outreach of TB intervention among irregular migrant communities through involvement of multiple stakeholders (2) Increasing TB awareness through a community targeted approach (3) Increasing TB contact tracing and treatment success among infected irregular migrants, and, (4) Improving overall health seeking behavior of irregular migrants through empowerment and trust. Given these particularities we list our policy suggestions for revision of regulations regarding TB control and healthcare needs of irregular migrant populations.