WoNCA Special Interest Groups

New WoNCA Special Interest group: migrant care, international Health and Travel Medicine

At the recent Wonca Executive meeting in Cebu, the Philippines, the expansion of the Wonca Special Interest Group (SIG) on Travel Medicine was endorsed. The group will now be known as the SIG on Migrant Care,International Health and Travel Medicine. Dr Garth Brink, who was featured in the February 2011 edition of Wonca News, is retiring as convenor after prolonged service as the convenor of the SIG in travel medicine. Wonca acknowledges Garth’s contribution. The new convenor will be Dr Maria van den Muijsenbergh of The Netherlands. The initial proposal for the group’s activities is outlined below.


Good access and quality of primary care for all temporally or permanently – displaced people and travellers at all places in the world.


To improve the knowledge and skills of general practitioners as well as the organisational and financial conditions to deliver cultural competent, good quality of primary care to migrants of all kinds: travellers, economic migrants as well as refugees including the undocumented.


To enhance the exchange of knowledge, good practices, education and international research on migrant care en travel medicine in general practice by:

  1. Concerning knowledge and good practices, aiming at GP’s in daily practice:
    • Promoting access to and exchange of (web based) information to support GPs in daily practice on all aspects of migrant care, international health and travel medicine such as: infectious diseases, endemic conditions, mental problems related to displacement and migration, communication tools, ethnic and cultural differences in diseases, in health beliefs and expectations.
    • Exchange of good practices by international ex-change practice visits.
  2. Concerning education in migrant care, cultural competences and travel medicine:
    • Exchange of programs and materials for medical school, vocational training and post graduate education programs by establishing an internet forum for GP’s involved in teaching.
  3. Concerning research on migrant care, cultural competences and travel medicine:
    • Exchange of existing and initiating new local and international research projects.
  4. Networking:
    • Organising workshops and / or pre-conferences at Wonca Europe and other regional Wonca conferences as well as at the Wonca world conference.
    • Joint publishing of practice experiences and research results.

The initial ideas for activities for this SIG include:

  • exchange practice visits of Swiss and Dutch doctors;
  • creating a SIG website on migrant care and travel medicine in general practice, with information on tropical diseases, vaccinations and other immigrant health issues; as well as information on education programs and materials and on research projects; creating an internet forum for members of SIG to exchange experiences, questions, problems and solutions; building the SIG including recruiting members.
  • Planned Wonca conference activities including:
    • Wonca Asia Pacific 2011 regional conference by Drs Evelyn van Weel-Baumgarten, Ryuki Kassai, Maria Fidelis Manalo;
    • A Wonca Europe 2011 conference workshop;
    • Pre-conferences in 2012 in Wonca Europe Vienna and Wonca Africa in Zimbabwe and in 2013 at
    • Wonca World in Prague.

New convenor

Dr Maria van den Muijsenbergh, is a general practitioner in a population with many vulnerable migrants such as refugees, undocumented and homeless people. She is a senior researcher and teacher in the Department of Primary and Community Care at Radboud University Nijmegen Medical Centre, in Nijmegen, the Netherlands. Her research and education focus is on immigrant health and healthcare for refugees and undocumented people (eg the EU-funded Restore-project). She is a senior researcher and adviser to Pharos, Dutch knowledge centre on migrants, refugees and healthcare, in Utrecht.

For further information on the new SIG please contact: m.vandenmuijsenbergh@elg.umcn.nl

Wonca World

World Organization of National Colleges, Academies and Academic Associations of General Practitioners/Family Physicians.

The WHIG recommends

  1. “The WONCA Working Party on Rural Practice” for its activities in education and training of FM in remote areas. click
  2. Special Interest group: “migrant care, international Health and Travel Medicine” (see below for mission statement)  click
  3. WONCA Africa: click. Become a member of their discussiongroep. click

Latest News from Wonca World: click


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