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Healthcare for migrants and displaced persons

Camp de réfugiés en Irak. © Guillaume Pinon

Healthcare for migrants and displaced persons

Particularly vulnerable and exposed to multiple dangers, migrants and refugees are at the very heart of the actions undertaken by Doctors of the World. We are at their side in their home regions, when they leave fleeing deadly fighting, persecution or poverty, then in the camps where they seek refuge, at each stage of their journey and as far as their destination countries where they hope to find protection and asylum.

Crisis situations

To escape deadly conflicts and the associated blind violence, political or religious persecution and terror, poverty and hunger, men, women and children leave their countries, families and friends, to set out on a perilous journey that is always dangerous and often tragic.

This is what has happened to the Syrian people who, since 2011, have been forced in their millions to flee the conflict between the regime in power and various rebel factions and seek refuge in camps in Syria, Lebanon, Jordan and Turkey. This is also what has happened to those Iraqis, persecuted by the so-called Islamic State organisation, who are fleeing in particular to Kurdistan or Turkey. And this is also what has happened to the Ethiopians, Eritreans and Somalis who, from the horn of Africa, are trying to reach Yemen, which is itself devastated by armed conflict.

In these contexts of extreme violence and great distress, Doctors of the World assists the victims, internally displaced persons and refugees.

Woman and child after bombardments in Syria © AFP PHOTOS
Woman and child after bombardments in Syria © AFP PHOTOS

Our action

En accompagnant les migrants depuis 30 ans In helping migrants for 30 years, taking care of them and ensuring they have access to their rights, Doctors of the World reaffirms its resolute commitment to cohesive, community action. We are there for these migrants throughout their journey, from the conflict zones, through Greece and as far as Calais. Because seeking asylum is not a crime. These people are simply on a desperate and legitimate quest for a dignified way of life.

Dr Françoise Sivignon, president, Doctors of the world
The framework for our involvement

Doctors of the World has developed different programmes, primary healthcare centres, mobile teams going to meet migrants wherever they may be and specific measures for dealing with psychological suffering and post-traumatic stress. The aim is to offer a place to rest, to talk, the possibility of obtaining treatment, physical care or social aid, and also to describe the wide range of migratory journeys as well as the principal obstacles put in their way.

Welcoming migrants in Europe

In Europe, where they finally arrive after a hard journey from their home countries, migrants must again deal with numerous difficulties. Many of them have physical or psychological health issues. Some bear the scars of war or of living conditions prior to their departure. Others suffered on their migration route with no possibility of obtaining healthcare. MdM's teams act to meet these needs by providing care, psychological support and information for migrants on their rights in terms of healthcare and asylum. Our aim is in particular to bear witness to the negative impact that European policies are having on migrants' health.

A migrant camp in Calais © Olivier Papegnies
A migrant camp in Calais © Olivier Papegnies

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