Health minister calls for WHO assistance to face illegal migration-associated public health risks

Health Minister Andreas Loverdos on Tuesday requested the assistance and substantive support of the World Health Organization (WHO) Regional Office for Europe in the management of public health risks stemming from the illegal migration phenomenon.

In a letter addressed to WHO / Regional Office for Europe, he underlined that Greece is the entry gate for thousands of illegal migrants in their quest for a better life in the EU. He added that the immediate priority of the health ministry in cooperation with the Centre for the Control and Prevention of Diseases (KEELPNO) is to boost monitoring and effectiveness when faced with public health risks associated with the transmission of infectious diseases as a result of illegal migration.

Loverdos stressed that it is clear that this considerable risk has no borders and in case it is not faced effectively it could concern many European countries. He also pledged that he will bring the issue to the European health ministers meeting in April chaired by Hungary.

The health minister underlined that a WHO delegation should visit the country as soon as possible to assess the situation and exchange views for immediate cooperation with KEELPNO.

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