IOM Egypt Marks World Health Day with Awareness-raising Sessions on Depression

Migration Health

Egypt - IOM Egypt organized a series of awareness raising sessions on depression from 9–20 April to mark World Health Day (7 April), which this year, had the theme: Depression: let’s talk.

IOM kicked off the sessions with a peer educators’ workshop on 9 April targeting 20 representatives of different migrant communities in Egypt including community health workers and community leaders. IOM physicians moderated the workshop and provided the participants with information on depression, including means of prevention as well as treatment. The participants would then in turn disseminate the knowledge they had gained to their respective migrant communities and guide fellow migrants to the relevant service providers.

Following that workshop, two awareness-raising sessions were carried out on 20 April targeting approximately 250 migrants – invited by the trained peer educators – representing eight migrant communities. The migrants were briefed on depression, its symptoms, and available means of treatment followed by a question and answer session.

“Migrant communities are among those vulnerable populations that are affected by depression and anxiety, mainly as a result of experiencing humanitarian crises, conflict and displacement. Our aim is to reduce the stigma associated with depression and encourage people to talk as a first step towards seeking help,” said Dr. Heidi Goubran, Programme Officer at IOM Egypt’s Migration Health Division.

According to the latest estimates from the World Health Organization, around four percent of the world population lives with depression, an increase of more than 18 per cent in the last decade.

The series of events were organized within the framework of the regional project Promoting Health and Well Being amongst Migrants in Morocco, Egypt, Libya, Tunisia and Yemen (TRANSIT II) with the generous support of the Ministry for Foreign Affairs of Finland.

The project seeks to improve the health and well-being of migrants; support governmental and non-governmental health structures in delivering quality, migrant-friendly and psychosocially aware health-care services; and raise awareness among migrants on available health care (including psychosocial support) and health issues of concern.

For further information, please contact Dr. Heidi Goubran at IOM Egypt, Tel: +20 2273 65140, Email: