Skip to main content

Repository of Practices

Migrant Access to "100 Million Healthy Lives"

Primary GCM Objectives

GCM Guiding Principles*

*All practices are to uphold the ten guiding principles of the GCM. This practice particularly exemplifies these listed principles.

Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs)


2019 - Present

Type of practice


Geographic scope


Sub Regions:


Egypt has launched 100-Million Healthy Lives Presidential Initiative to eradicate Virus C and non-communicable diseases that included till now two campaigns:

1. The first campaign concerns screening for Hepatitis C virus and non-communicable diseases;

2. The second campaign concerns women health, which focuses on early detection of breast cancer.

100-million Healthy Lives Initiative is considered one of the biggest medical screening campaigns all over the world. His Excellency the President of the Arab Republic of Egypt announced that this Initiative shall include all migrants residing in Egypt, with screening and treatment provided for free. Accordingly, IOM Egypt has collaborated with the Ministry of Health and Population, WHO Egypt and UNHCR Egypt to organize campaigns that reached out to more than 2000 of migrants and refugees in different governorates across Egypt.


Main Implementing Organization(s)

Government of Egypt

Detailed Information

The Egyptian Ministry of Health and Population

Partner/Donor Organizations

World Health Organization - WHO
International Organization for Migration - IOM
United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees - UNHCR

Benefit and Impact

Migrants along with Egyptians benefited from the presidential initiative. Having host communities and migrants benefiting from the same well-being initiatives promotes social cohesion, helps eliminating discrimination, and reduces vulnerabilities of migrants.

Key Lessons

The initiative faced a number of challenges:

• Cultural and Language Barriers: being a hosting country of more than 6 million migrants and refuges from more than 58 countries, cultural and language barriers often time play an important role as a challenge to full access and inclusion in health initiatives. The Government of Egypt (GoE) encountered a challenge in raising awareness about the initiative among non-Arabic or English speaking migrants. However, with the support of UN agencies and civil society organizations, the GoE was able to better inform migrants and refugees about the initiative, and programs were designed to familiarize all beneficiaries of the initiative and health units providing these services.

• Reluctance among migrants to access public health facilities due to crowdedness: Some migrants generally avoid public health facilities- for a number of difficulties related to overcrowded facilities, long distance to reach health facilities, as well as language and cultural barriers. To overcome this challenge, the GoE has allocated a number of health facilities designated only to migrants and refugees to provide them with the required health services in a healthy and safe environment, or established mobile health units in areas where migrants are concentrated.

• Lack of awareness: A large number of migrants and refugees residing in Egypt do not have adequate medical culture or awareness. This has resulted in many migrants and refugees rejecting modern medical treatments or doing health check. To overcome this challenge, the GoE, in partnership with the relevant international and civil society organizations, has worked on raising awareness among migrants and refugees’ populations on the importance of screening and examination and the proper adherence to treatments.

• Registration and Identification: in order to fully include migrants and refugees in the “100 Million Healthy Lives” initiative on an equal footing with Egyptian citizens, the data base system had to be modified to allow for entering the details of their passports or other forms of ID, instead of the initial system that only accepted Egyptian IDs.

• Lack of adequate data on Hepatitis C infection rates in Africa: the lack of accurate data on the rates of infection in African countries represented a challenge to designing well-informed initiatives targeting the specific needs to migrants and refugees’ communities. The initiative provided the opportunity to formulate future interventions amongst communities from Sudan, South Sudan, Chad, Uganda, Nigeria and Kenya to provide medical services aiming at eradicating Hepatitis C virus in these communities in Egypt and guiding bilateral cooperation with the respective countries.

Recommendations(if the practice is to be replicated)

Health services and initiatives should always be accessible to all communities and groups living within a country for their impact to be substantial.

The COVID-19 pandemic has taught us that we all share the same fate and that we are all as strong as our weakest link. This is true for societies hosting refugees and migrants, and extends to include viruses other than COVID-19 such as Hepatitis C virus. In light of that, any initiative must include all communities and groups within the society if their impact is to be truly sustainable.


This initiative provided the opportunity to migrants to get screened and treated in health caravans that are located in several locations (governorates), making it more accessible to everyone.

The initiative also represented an opportunity to merge efforts with other projects/programmes. During the second phase of IOM's “Support and Increase Healthcare Access for Migrants and Vulnerable Egyptian Host Community Members (SIHA) Project" (April 2019 – September 2019), IOM collaborated with the Ministry of Health and Population, WHO, and UNHCR on the medical screening of migrants and refugees for Hepatitis C as part of the presidential initiative “100 Million Healthy Lives”.

Date submitted:

31 March 2022

Disclaimer: The content of this practice reflects the views of the implementers and does not necessarily reflect the views of the United Nations, the United Nations Network on Migration, and its members.



*References to Kosovo shall be understood to be in the context of United Nations Security Council resolution 1244 (1999).