MyHealth Glossary

Asylum seeker A person who seeks safety from persecution or serious harm in a country other than his or her own and awaits a decision on the application for refugee status under relevant international and national instruments. In case of a negative decision, the person must leave the country and may be expelled, as may any non-national in an irregular or unlawful situation, unless permission to stay is provided on humanitarian or other related grounds.1
Chronic disease No uniform definition of chronic disease exists. Some sources use the term interchangeably with non-communicable diseases whereas others include chronic conditions of infectious origin such as HIV or mental illness such as Alzheimer.2
Community The condition of sharing or having certain attitudes and interests in common.3
Community activity For MyHealth project: A pursuit of civic responsibility and of wanting or feeling to do something to support one another and/or the wider society.
Community Health agent Community health agents are those who work in communities to strengthen the links between the community and health services, usually not certified and outside of national healthcare services. This also includes non-health agents who work on the social determinants of health such as housing, inequalities, education, employment or the environment.4
Community involvement For MyHealth project: The process of engaging in discussion and collaboration with community members.
Community participation For MyHealth project: a meaningful active involvement of community members in the design, development, implementation, delivery, as well as evaluation of health services”.
Country of origin The country that is a source of migratory flows (legal or illegal).1
Country of transit The country through which migratory flows (independent of administrative status) move.1
Family doctor The family doctor (FD) is the gatekeeper of the Primary Health Care system. His/her role is to control the entry of people into the healthcare system, to avoid unnecessary use, duplication and coordination of referrals to specialized health care.5
General practitioner General practitioner (GP) treats all common medical conditions and refer patients to hospitals and other medical services for urgent and specialized treatment. They focus on the health of the whole person combining physical, psychological and social aspects of care.6
Health Health is a state of complete physical, mental and social well-being and not merely the absence of disease or infirmity.7
Health champions People who, with training and support, voluntarily bring in their ability to relate to people and their own life experience to transform health and wellbeing in their communities.8
Health education Health education is any combination of learning experiences designed to help individuals, groups, and communities improve their health, by increasing their knowledge or influencing their attitudes.9
Health Needs For the MyHealth project: Deficiencies in health perceived by a stakeholders that requires some intervention. The perceptions could be similar or different between them.
Health promotion Health promotion is the process of enabling people to increase control over, and to improve, their health. It moves beyond a focus on individual behaviour towards a wide range of social and environmental interventions. 10
Hospital Health Care For MyHealth project: The term refers to the healthcare structure where patients are treated for more complex or rare diseases that could not be managed by Primary Health Care.
Host Country The EU Member State / country in which a third-country national / non-national takes up residence.11
Immigrant In the EU context, a person who establishes their usual residence in the territory of an EU Member State for a period that is, or is expected to be, of at least 12 months, having previously been usually resident in another EU Member State or a third country.11 Any 3rd country national without an EU/EEA passport arriving in the EU.
Infectious, or communicable diseases Defined as an illness caused by a specific infectious agent or its toxic product that results from transmission of that agent or its products from an infected person, animal, or reservoir to a susceptible host, either directly or indirectly through an intermediate plant or animal host, vector or inanimate environment.12
Integration As a state where an individual can maintain his or her own cultural identity while at the same time becomes active participant in the host culture.13
International Health This term refers to a systematic consideration of all the factors that affect the health of human population (genetic, cultural, natural environment, political, economic, migration and violence). This term is historically related to tropical diseases, sanitation, water, malnutrition, mother and child health; however, many organizations includes broader range of subjects as chronic diseases.14
Irregular (administrative) migrant Someone who, owing to illegal entry or the expiry of his or her visa, lacks legal administrative status in a transit or host country. The term applies to migrants who infringe a country’s admission rules and any other person not authorized to remain in the host country (also called clandestine/ illegal/undocumented migrant or migrant in an irregular situation).1
Learning Alliance Innovative methodology seeking to re-think the utilisation, appropriation and impact of research outcomes in the health services area in more integrated ways. Formally defined, it is “a series of connected multi-stakeholder platforms or networks (practitioner, researchers, policy-makers, service users) at different institutional levels (local, national) involved in two basic tasks: knowledge innovation and its scaling up.” 15
Mediator A person who usually belongs to the immigrant community or is familiar with the cultural aspects of that immigrant community, translate (if necessary, adapt the information), and facilitate liaison between two entities, for example a hospital/institution and a service user.
Mental health Mental health is defined by WHO as a state of well-being in which every individual realizes his or her own potential, can cope with the normal stresses of life, can work productively and fruitfully, and is able to make a contribution to her or his community.16
Migrant At the international level, no universally accepted definition of migrant exists. The term migrant is usually understood to cover all cases where the decision to migrate is taken freely by the individual concerned for reasons of “personal convenience” and without intervention of an external compelling factor. This term therefore applies to persons, and family members, moving to another country or region to better their material or social conditions and improve the prospect for themselves or their family.1
Migrant worker A person who is to be engaged, is engaged or has been engaged in a remunerated activity in a State of which he or she is not a national.1
Migration A process of moving, either across an international border, or within a State. It is a population movement, encompassing any kind of movement of people, whatever its length, composition and causes; it includes migration of refugees, displaced persons, uprooted people, and economic migrants.1
Minor In a legal context and in contrast to a child, a person who, according to the law of their respective country, is under the age of majority, i.e. is not yet entitled to exercise specific civil and political rights.11
MyHealth A transnational project co-funded by the health programme of the European Union to develop and implement models of health network to reach out to migrants and Ethnic minorities, in particular women and unaccompanied minors.
Network A group or system of interconnected people, institutions or things.3
Non-communicable diseases Non-communicable diseases (NCDs), also known as chronic diseases, tend to be of long duration and are the result of a combination of genetic, physiological, environmental and behavioural factors. The major types include cardiovascular diseases, cancer, chronic pulmonary disease, and diabetes.17
Pictograms Pictograms are the visual language of Migrantas. Their simple, universally understandable images stir emotions: people from different backgrounds recognize themselves in the representations, while others gain new insights or modify their own perspectives.
Pilot For MyHealth project: is a test of a tool/method/instrument before introducing it more widely.
Primary Health Care Primary healthcare is an essential part of healthcare based on practical, scientific and socially acceptable methods and technology made universally accessible to individuals and families in the community through their full participation. It is also made possible because the community and country can afford to maintain at every stage of their development in the spirit of self-reliance and self-determination. 18
Refugee A person who meets the eligibility criteria under the applicable refugee definition, as provided for in international or regional refugee instruments, under UNHCR’s mandate, and/or in national legislation.19
Social determinants of heath The social determinants of health are the conditions in which people are born, grow, live, work and age.20
Specialized professionals For MyHealth project:  These health professionals are trained to manage more complex or rare diseases (usually at Hospital Health Care settings) that could not be managed by primary healthcare professionals.
Screening Screening is defined as the presumptive identification of unrecognized disease in an apparently healthy, asymptomatic population by means of tests, examinations or other procedures that can be applied rapidly and easily to the target population.21
Stakeholder For MyHealth project: A person, group or organization that has interest or concern in the project.   The general categorisation used in the project for grouping stakeholders is: public sector, civil society, and private sector.
Third-country national (TCN) Any person who is not a citizen of the European Union within the meaning of Art. 20(1) of TFEU and who is not a person enjoying the European Union right to free movement, as defined in Art. 2(5) of the Regulation (EU) 2016/399 (Schengen Borders Code).11
Tool For MyHealth project: is an instrument (leaflet, training, game, workshop, network…) or methodology that aids in accomplishing a particular objective or task.
Trafficking in persons The recruitment, transportation, transfer, harbouring or receipt of persons, by means of the threat or use of force or other forms of coercion, of abduction, of fraud, of deception, of the abuse of power or of a position of vulnerability or of the giving or receiving of payments or benefits to achieve the consent of a person having control over another person, for the purpose of exploitation. 1
Translator A person who provides translation services. Can be professional or informal (such as family members).
Unaccompanied minor A minor who arrives on the territory of an EU Member unaccompanied by the adult responsible for them by law or by the practice of the EU Member State concerned, and for as long as they are not effectively taken into the care of such a person; or who is left unaccompanied after they have entered the territory of the EU Member State.11
Undocumented migrant See irregular migrant
Vulnerable migrants (or migrants in vulnerable situations) There is no internationally recognized definition. IOM proposes a model that defines vulnerability within a migration context as the diminished capacity of an individual or group to resist, cope with, or recover from violence, exploitation, abuse, and violation(s) of their rights. It is determined by the presence, absence, and interaction of factors and circumstances that (a) increase the risk of, and exposure to, or (b) protect against, violence, exploitation, abuse, and rights violations .22




1. IOM. Key Migration Terms. Grand-Saconnex: International Organization for Migration; Published 2018. Accessed September 28, 2017.

2. Bernell S, Howard SW. Use Your Words Carefully: What Is a Chronic Disease? Front Public Heal. 2016;4(August):2-4. doi:10.3389/fpubh.2016.0015

3. English Dictionary, Thesaurus, & grammar help | Oxford Dictionaries. Accessed November 27, 2018.

4. Lewin S, Munabi-Babigumira S, Glenton C, et al. Lay health workers in primary and community health care for maternal and child health and the management of infectious diseases. Cochrane Database Syst Rev. 2010;(3):CD004015. doi:10.1002/

5. Saltma RB, Rico A, Boerma W. European Observatory on the Health Systems and Policies Series. Primary Care in the Driver’s Seat?; 2006. Accessed March 15, 2019.

6. General practice (GP) | Health Careers. Accessed April 3, 2019.

7. WHO. CONSTITUTION OF THE WORLD HEALTH ORGANIZATION 1.; 2006. Accessed November 26, 2018.

8. Altogetherbetter. Health Champions – Altogether Better. Published 2018. Accessed November 27, 2018.

9. WHO | Health education. WHO. 2013. Accessed November 26, 2018.

10. WHO | Health promotion. WHO. 2017. Accessed November 26, 2018.

11. European Commision. Migration and Home Affairs. Glossary. Published 2019. Accessed November 26, 2018.

12. Last JM, International Epidemiological Association. A Dictionary of Epidemiology. Oxford University Press; 2001.

13. Berry, J. W. (2001). a Psychology of Immigration | Prejudices | Immigration. Accessed November 26, 2018.

14. Koplan JP, Bond TC, Merson MH, et al. Towards a common definition of global health. Lancet. 2009;373(9679):1993-1995. doi:10.1016/S0140-6736(09)60332-9

15. Moreno-Leguizamon CJ. Learning Alliance Methodology Contributions to Integrated Care Research. Int J Integr Care. 2018;18(s1):125. doi:10.5334/ijic.s1125

16. WHO | Mental health: a state of well-being. WHO. 2014. Accessed November 26, 2018.

17. WHO. Noncommunicable diseases. Key facts. Published 2019. Accessed November 26, 2018.

18. WHO. Declaration of Alma-Ata. International Conference on Primary Health Care, Alma-Ata, USSR, 6-12 September 1978. Published 1978. Accessed March 15, 2019.

19. Refworld | UNHCR Master Glossary of Terms. Accessed November 26, 2018.

20. WHO | About social determinants of health. WHO. 2017. Accessed November 26, 2018.

21. WHO | Screening. WHO. 2017. Accessed November 26, 2018.

22. United Nations. Global Migration Group. Principles and Guidelines Migrants in Vulnerable Situations. Accessed November 26, 2018.