A day in the life of a refugee: being and staying healthy

UNHCR Nigeria

Nigeria Refugee Crisis – A Journey of Survival (UNHCR, 2015)

This article was exclusively written for the Sting by Mr Aluko Oluzabusayo Daniel, a student of medicine and surgery at Lagos University Teaching Hospital in Nigeria. Mr Aluko is affiliated to the International Federation of Medical Students Association (IFMSA). The opinion expressed in this piece belongs to the writer and does not necessarily reflect IFMSA’s view on the topic, nor The European Sting’s one.

For the purpose of getting our terminologies right, lets understand that “all refugees are migrants but not all migrants are refugees”. They’ve been persecuted in their homeland, fleeing the crisis, and now, seeking asylum. A refugee isn’t your typical immigrant. Over the years, the world has had to deal with issues of migration which led to the formation of the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), a programme mandated by the United Nations (UN) to protect and support refugees while assisting in their integration, resettlement or voluntary return to country of origin. However in 2015, crisis began all over the European continent as immigration numbers skyrocketed from unauthorized foreign migrants. These foreign migrants encompassed not only the vulnerable mass seeking refuge, but also some hostile agents.

The world has experienced the highest number of forcibly displaced people since World War 2-about 59.5million-and by 2015,over a million entered the European region and about 3700 died/went missing during the journey. The point is this is a global crisis and concerted efforts should be made globally, not just by the European Union. Addressing the migration crisis, the Vice President of Nigeria, Professor Yemi Osinbajo stressed the need for care and respect for the migrants as most of them were forced to leave their ancestral homes. He also advised the International Organization of Migration (IOM) to ensure the proper documentation of all migrants.

Analyses from the World Health Organization (WHO) reviews the health status and access of a refugee from their country of origin, to their transit country and finally in their destination country.

In Syria alone, over 7 million people are internally displaced with the unrest causing shortages of qualified medical personnel and other medical aid and support. Interventions made by the WHO and partners include provision of supplies for treatment of critical conditions like diabetes and heart disease; vaccination against diseases like measles, rubella and polio; prevention of vector borne diseases like malaria; delivery of integrated primary health care, including mental health services; deployment of surgical teams and supplies; support for mobile clinics and outreach services for reproductive, maternal and newborn child health; and strengthened disease surveillance and outbreak response. All these are considered very important for integration in their destination countries as well as it helps to prevent the spread of communicable diseases amongst the refugees during transit.

Refugees in transit are usually vulnerable because their finances are usually limited. Therefore, special care and assistance should be rendered at this level. In countries like Turkey, Lebanon and Greece hosting the refugees, the

WHO works with the governments to improve access to basic healthcare needs by setting up clinics especially for the refugees; providing medical supplies, equipment and fuel; training for frontline health workers; collecting and analysing health data to shape decision-making and providing Ministries of Health and other partners with technical guidance on key public health issues.

Finally, even with the unprecedented influx of refugees in the European region, the WHO supports the receiving countries by performing joint assessments with Ministries of Health to assess health-system capacity to manage large influxes of refugees and migrants; giving policy advice on contingency planning for the health sector; providing emergency medicines and supplies; providing maternal and child health care services; providing mental health and psychosocial care; training for health workers; technical and financial assistance for outbreak response and immunization campaigns; dissemination of health information and educational materials to refugees and health workers; and cross-border collaboration for improved data collection and analysis.

It is in fact now widely understood that being and staying healthy is not only part of migrants’ human rights, but also a fundamental precondition for them to work, be productive and contribute to the social and economic development of their communities, both of origin and destination. Therefore, coordinated efforts are needed to ensure that migrant health is addressed throughout the migration cycle, as are efforts to adapt and strengthen the resilience of local health systems in light of more diverse population health profiles. Addressing the health of migrants and affected local populations reduces long-term health and social costs, is good public health practice, facilitates integration and contributes to social and economic development. The healthier migrants are and remain the more efficient and balanced the future of our highly mobile and globalized society will be.

About the author

Aluko Oluwabusayo Daniel is a medical student currently studying at the College of Medicine, University of Lagos, Nigeria. He is currently an executive member at the Drug Free Club; University of Lagos, Nigeria- affiliated to the FOUNDATION FOR A DRUG-FREE WORLD- a nonprofit public benefit corporation that empowers youth and adults with factual information about drugs so they can make informed decisions and live drug-free. Mr. Aluko is a certified first aider, hobbyist writer, debater and also an enthusiastic Arsenal football club supporter. 

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

the European Sting Milestones

Featured Stings

These campaigners want to give a quarter of the UK back to nature

How to build a more resilient and inclusive global system

Stopping antimicrobial resistance would cost just USD 2 per person a year

Food safety critical to development and ending poverty: FAO deputy chief

Free flow of non-personal data: Parliament approves EU’s fifth freedom

Eurostat overturns Commission’s assessment of the economy

1 in 7 people would choose not to fly because of climate change

Here’s how tech is revolutionising transport for low-income communities in urban Africa

3 ways to fix the way we fund humanitarian relief

Debunked: 5 myths about the future of work

EU Parliament semi worried over democratic deficit

Mental health of health professionals: the alter ego

The battle for the 2016 EU Budget to shake the Union; Commission and Parliament vs. Germany

Robots will soon be a necessity but they won’t take all our jobs

The reason the world showed limited empathy to the Orlando victims

Germany resists Macron’s plan for closer and more cohesive Eurozone; Paris and Berlin at odds

Remembering Kofi Annan

Lack of basic water facilities risks millions of lives globally: UN health agency

How privacy tech is redefining the data economy

Recognize, celebrate and ‘stand in solidarity’ with persons with albinism

The hostilities in south and eastern Ukraine resume; where could they lead?

LEAGUE OF YOUNG VOTERS LAUNCHES TOOL FOR YOUNG PEOPLE TO COMPARE POLITICAL PARTIES AHEAD OF EU ELECTIONS

UN appeals for international support as flood waters rise in wake of second Mozambique cyclone

90% of plastic polluting our oceans comes from just 10 rivers

The European Sting writes down the history LIVE from G20 Leaders’ Summit in Turkey

‘No-deal’ Brexit preparedness: European Commission takes stock of preparations and provides practical guidance to ensure coordinated EU approach

Ercom, cutting-edge Telco solutions from Europe

The Fourth Industrial Revolution must not leave farming behind

Mosul’s ‘3D contamination’ adds to challenges of deadly mine clearance work

Ship Recycling is the Commission’s Titanic

UN refugee agency presses States to aid 49 refugees stranded on Mediterranean

COP22 addresses a strong global pledge to effectively implement the Paris Agreement

EU is not only obsessed with Facebook but also blaims now innocent websites using social plugins to serve democratic dialogues?

Africa Forum aims to boost business, reduce costs, help countries trade out of poverty

EU revengefully shows no mercy to Cameron by demanding a fast and sloppy Brexit now

China is a renewable energy champion. But it’s time for a new approach

Alarming number of Ebola deaths in DRC a ‘rallying cry’ to scale up treatment

Parliament to ask for the suspension of EU-US deal on bank data

Europe plans to send satellites into space to monitor CO2 emissions

We are ‘burning up our future’, UN’s Bachelet tells Human Rights Council

Greece did it again

It’s time for global businesses to accept local responsibility

Belgium: Youth Forum takes legal step to ban unpaid internships

CO2 can be a valuable raw material, not just a climate killer. Here’s how

The US calls off globalization, targets Germany. Paris offer to Berlin comes at a cost

‘Once-in-a-generation opportunity’ will be squandered, warns Guterres, unless social, economic, environmental challenges are met

Assembly of European Regions @ European Business Summit 2014: Made in Europe – Made of Regions

Humans aren’t made for repetition – it’s time AI took over manufacturing

Are e-cigarettes as safe as they claim to be?

Boat made of recycled plastic and flip-flops inspires fight for cleaner seas along African coast

Cyclone Idai: emergency getting ‘bigger by the hour’, warns UN food agency

OECD Secretary-General Gurría welcomes announcement of new trade agreement between the US, Mexico and Canada

Rule of law in Hungary: Parliament should ask Council to act, say committee MEPs

Implementation of tax transparency initiative delivering concrete and impressive results

UN civil society conference to focus on sustainable solutions for challenges of urban life

State aid: Commission approves €431 million public support for cleaner transport in German cities

OECD, UN Environment and World Bank call for a radical shift in financing for a low-carbon, climate-resilient future

Why schools should teach the curriculum of the future, not the past

Brussels to tear down the trade wall with Mexico as opposed to Trump’s “walls”

Shanghai has tough new recycling rules – and it will stop collecting trash from communities that don’t comply

8000 young people in the EP in Strasbourg: “a breath of fresh air for EU democracy”

Is Erdogan losing game and match within and without Turkey?

This tiny new grain could save the planet

More Stings?

Speak your Mind Here

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s