Medical care for migrant children in Europe: a practical recommendation for first and follow-up appointments

  • Lenneke Schrier
  • Corinne Wyder
  • Stefano del Torso
  • Tom Stiris
  • Ulrich von Both
  • Julia Brandenberger
  • Nicole RitzEmail author


Between 2015 and 2017, an estimated 200,000 to 400,000 children were seeking asylum each year in EU/EEA countries. As access to high-quality health care is important, we collected and compared current recommendations across Europe for a consensus recommendation on medical care for migrant (asylum-seeking and refugee) children. Existing recommendations were collected from published literature and identified through national representatives from paediatric societies of 31 EU/EEA countries through the European Academy of Paediatrics (EAP). Recommendations were systematically extracted and collected in a database. Those mentioned in at least one recommendation were evaluated for inclusion, and evidence on recommendations was specifically identified in literature searches focused on recent evidence from Europe. For eight EU/EEA countries, a national recommendation was identified. Growth and development, vision and hearing impairment, skin and dental problems, immunisations, anaemia, micronutrient deficiency, helminths, hepatitis B and C, human immunodeficiency virus, malaria, schistosomiasis, syphilis, tuberculosis, mental health disorder and sexual health were most frequently mentioned and therefore selected for inclusion in the recommendation.

Conclusion: The current document includes general recommendations on ethical standards, use of interpreters and specific recommendations for prevention or early detection of communicable and non-communicable diseases. It may serve as a tool to ensure the fundamental right that migrant children in Europe receive a comprehensive, patient-centred health care.


Asylum-seeking children Refugee Check-up Health care Immigrant Unaccompanied minor Vaccination Immunisation Tuberculosis 



The author would like to thank Ayesha Kadir and Anders Hjern for helpful comments on the manuscript. We would like to thank René-Marie Meignan for designing the icons.

Author contribution

LS, CW, SdT and NR conceived the manuscript. LS, CW and NR performed the acquisition. LS And NR

wrote the first draft of the manuscript. TS, UvB and JB critically and substantially revised the draft of the manuscript. All authors approved the final manuscript.

Compliance with Ethical Standards

Conflict of Interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.

Ethical approval

This article does not contain any studies with human participants or animals performed by any of the authors.

Supplementary material

431_2019_3405_MOESM1_ESM.docx (19 kb)
ESM 1 (DOCX 18 kb)


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Willem Alexander Children’s HospitalLeiden University Medical CenterLeidenThe Netherlands
  2. 2.Kinderaerzte KurWerkBurgdorfSwitzerland
  3. 3.Department of PaediatricsUniversity of BernBernSwitzerland
  4. 4.Studio PediatricoPadovaItaly
  5. 5.Department of NeonatologyOslo University HospitalOsloNorway
  6. 6.Faculty of MedicineUniversity of OsloOsloNorway
  7. 7.Division of Paediatric Infectious DiseasesDr. von Hauner Children’s Hospital, University Hospital, LMU MunichMunichGermany
  8. 8.German Centre for Infection Research (DZIF), partner siteMunichGermany
  9. 9.Paediatric Infection and Immunity, Section of Paediatric, Department of MedicineImperial College LondonLondonUK
  10. 10.Migrant Health Service, University Children’s Hospital BaselUniversity of BaselBaselSwitzerland
  11. 11.Infectious Diseases and Vaccinology Unit, University Children’s Hospital BaselUniversity of BaselBaselSwitzerland
  12. 12.Department of PaediatricsThe University of MelbourneParkvilleAustralia
  13. 13.Infectious Diseases UnitRoyal Children’s Hospital MelbourneParkvilleAustralia

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