A Round Table: Improving Migrants and Refusgess Access to HIV services in Georgia

On October 11, REG together with Red Cross Society Georgia and IFRC held a Round Table on Migration and Health in Tbilisi, Georgia, aiming to promote the dialog and harmonize efforts among those who provide health services for refugees and migrants in Georgia. 

The event gathered experts from Infection Diseases, AIDS and Clinical Immunology Research Centre, MoH’s Integration-Reintegration Unit, UNHCR, International Federation of Red Cross, as well as representatives of local NGO’s including Equality Movement, Life 2.0, GYLA, WorldVision, TBPeople, Spring of help, Temida, and other partners.   

During the meeting, Dr. Pati Gabunia, Headof AIDS Inpatient Department of the Infection Diseases, AIDS and Clinical Immunology Research Centre presented the response of national healthcare system to needs of migrants and refugees in Georgia. Gvantsa Kvinikadze, Researcher and Public Health Expert presented the latest data on existing services and key challenges in providing HIV care to migrants and refugees in Georgia – based on the Study released in Georgia and 5 other countries on access to HIV services for Ukrainian refugees.

Representatives of civil society shared with participants their good practices and challenges of provision of HIV related services to foreigners seeking HIV care as well as mental health services.     

Key part of the meeting was the panel discussion on identifying required actions, next steps to promote migrant and refugees health, improving access to services, as well as options to ensure coordination of service providers and support in the country. The nearest step will be development of a database maintained by Red Cross and REG with service providers and actual information for reference and options for redirection of clients.