Migrants rescued on the Mediterranean Sea route: nutritional, psychological status and infectious disease control

  • Silvia Angeletti Unit of Clinical Laboratory Science, University Campus Bio-Medico of Rome, Italy
  • Giancarlo Ceccarelli Migrant and Global Health Research Organization, Centro di ricerca sulla salute globale e delle popolazioni mobili (Mi-Hero) e Sanità di Frontiera Onlus
  • Riccardo Bazzardi Controllo Microbiologico e Ispezione degli Alimenti, Istituto Zooprofilattico Sperimentale della Sardegna “G. Pegreffi”, Sassari, Italy
  • Marta Fogolari Unit of Clinical Laboratory Science, University Campus Bio-Medico of Rome, Italy
  • Serena Vita Migrant and Global Health Research Organization, Centro di ricerca sulla salute globale e delle popolazioni mobili (Mi-Hero) e Sanità di Frontiera Onlus
  • Francesca Antonelli Unit of Clinical Laboratory Science, University Campus Bio-Medico of Rome, Italy
  • Lucia De Florio Unit of Clinical Laboratory Science, University Campus Bio-Medico of Rome, Italy
  • Yeganeh Manon Khazrai Unit of Food Science and Human Nutrition, University Campus Bio–Medico of Rome, Italy
  • Vincenza De Noia ERC “Mondo Migliore”, Cooperativa Sociale San Filippo Neri, Rocca di Papa, Italy
  • Maurizio Lopalco ERC “Mondo Migliore”, Cooperativa Sociale San Filippo Neri, Rocca di Papa, Italy
  • Domenico Alagia ERC “Mondo Migliore”, Cooperativa Sociale San Filippo Neri, Rocca di Papa, Italy
  • Claudio Pedone Unit of Geriatrics, University Campus Bio-Medico of Rome, Italy
  • Gaetano Lauri Unit of Gastroenterology, University Campus Bio-Medico of Rome, Italy
  • Rosario Aronica Faculty of Psychiatry, Department of Systems Medicine, University of Rome Tor Vergata, Italy
  • Elisabetta Riva Unit of Virology, University Campus Bio-Medico of Rome, Italy
  • Ayse Banu Demir Department of Medical Biology, İzmir University of Economics, Izmir, Turkey
  • Hakan Abacioglu Faculty of Medicine, İzmir University of Economics, Izmir, Turkey
  • Massimo Ciccozzi Unit of Medical Statistics and Molecular Epidemiology, University Campus Bio-Medico of Rome, Italy
  • The Sanitary Bureau of Extraordinary Reception Center (ERC) of Rocca di Papa
Keywords: Surveillance, Laboratory Blood Screening, Migrants, healthy migrant hypothesis, exhausted migrant effect

Abstract

Introduction: North Africa has become a key migratory hub where a large number of migrants attempt the journey by sea from the Libyan coastline to the south of Europe. In this humanitarian disaster scenario, the Mediterranean route has been one of the most used by illegal boats.

Methodology: In this report, the state of physical and psychological health of a cluster of Eritrean migrants, escaped from Libya and rescued in the Mediterranean Sea after a shipwreck, was described by epidemiological, clinical and laboratory investigations.

Results: Data suggest that despite the majority  of the migrants being apparently in good health upon a syndromic surveillance approach, most of them suffered a decline in psychological status as well as severe malnutrition. The emergence of infectious diseases, related to poor living conditions during the journey, is not a rare event.

Conclusion: The present report highlights the risks of failures of the syndromic medical approach in the setting of the extremely challenging migration route and underlines migrant frailties consequent to a prolonged journey and long period of detention. These stressors, which can degrade the initial health condition of traveling migrants, can lead to a premature "exhausted migrant effect" that should be carefully investigated in order to avoid the early emergence of diseases related to frailty.

Published
2020-05-31
How to Cite
1.
Angeletti S, Ceccarelli G, Bazzardi R, Fogolari M, Vita S, Antonelli F, De Florio L, Khazrai YM, De Noia V, Lopalco M, Alagia D, Pedone C, Lauri G, Aronica R, Riva E, Demir AB, Abacioglu H, Ciccozzi M, ERC Rocca di Papa (2020) Migrants rescued on the Mediterranean Sea route: nutritional, psychological status and infectious disease control. J Infect Dev Ctries 14:454-462. doi: 10.3855/jidc.11918
Section
Original Articles

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