The refugee crisis as a young Nigerian doctor sees it

Nigeria Chad UNHCR

Nigerian refugees leave Ngouboua, on the shores of Lake Chad, on 11 February 2015. They are heading for a safer place, away from the border. UNHCR/Olivier Laban-Mattei.

This article was exclusively written for the Sting by Mr Imeh Michael, a young Nigerian, currently a 5th year medical student of the College of Medicine, University of Lagos (CMUL), Nigeria. Mr Michael 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.

There has always been a moderate level (most of this legal) of immigration into Europe and generally into more prosperous nations, but in recent times especially with the worsening cases of terrorism in Islamic states, this has changed.

There is now a heavy influx of people from countries with strife into more peaceful nations, so much so that these “peaceful nations” are being forced to shut their borders. The sad truth which the world is slowly starting to realize is that this phenomenon may very well be the beginning…

According to BBC news, over one million people migrated into Europe in 2015. Majority of this number came into Europe illegally. The most favoured route used by these migrants is water, only a few make use of land routes. Most of the migrants are pushed from their homes and places of comfort by strife and conflicts. The vast majority of these migrants into Europe are from Syria, Iraq and Afghanistan.

Also, for some of the other migrants, especially those from African nations like Eritrea, Morocco and Somalia; threatened security, poverty and human rights abuses are also forcing people to leave these countries in the hope of a better life in parts of Europe like Germany, Greece or the United Kingdom.

The Journey of these migrants can only be qualified as terrifyingly horrendous. There have been so many reported incidents of shipwrecks, missing boats, drowning, overcrowding; leading to starvation, suffocation, and these are only those mentioned. Survivors of these journeys, reveal molestations along the way. They report abuse especially by people traffickers. Some of them also get robbed along the way.

The migrants also have to contend with rapidly spreading diseases, especially ones that favour characteristics like overcrowding. These are infectious diseases and good examples include tuberculosis, HIV and hepatitis. A very real danger for them is their mental health. They deal with depression, post- traumatic stress syndrome, psychosomatic complaints and anxiety. Also, most of the migrants especially the children suffer from malnutrition and starvation.

The migrants’ situation definitely has a role to play in the rising tensions among European nations. Apart from Germany and Hungary, there has been a general reluctance in accepting migrants. Some countries have gone as far as putting up physical barriers to prevent the entry of migrants. An asylum policy has been passed but enforcing it has been a challenge. Only a few of the migrants get asylum out of the many that apply for it.

Settling in these countries could be difficult for the migrants as they aren’t immediately given treatment that normal residents or citizens of these countries would normally be given. There is bound to be a discriminatory sometimes even degrading treatment. More countries should also open their doors as well so that the burden on the few countries that grant asylum may be reduced.

Also even after settlement of these migrants, plans should be made for them to receive access to safe food, basic health care and their other primary needs. Multilateral organizations especially the World Health Organization (WHO) and the United Nations (UN), already are looking into helping these migrants fare better in their new places of abode. More countries however have to put in more effort and offer a helping hand.

About the author

I am Imeh Michael a young Nigerian, currently a 5th year medical student of the College of Medicine, University of Lagos (CMUL), Nigeria. I hold no post in my student body but I am currently in the electoral committee for my Year Book Class executive council elections. I have also worked in several editorial boards and also currently a member of Writers’ Club CMUL. I am still a budding writer having just recently discovered my talent. I also have a flare for fiction as I was 1st runner up in a writing competition that took place earlier this year.

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

the European Sting Milestones

Featured Stings

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

The collision of these 3 geographies is creating a new world order

How to stay in shape and step up support for refugees

How did Facebook fool the Commission that easily during the WhatsApp acquisition?

G20 to Germany: Abandon miser policies

Why lay people don’t expect anything good from G20

The G7 adopted dangerous views about Ukraine and Greece

No agreement in sight on EU budget

Civil society organisations disenchanted with “Youth Guarantee”

China Unlimited: an exclusive interview with the former Ambassador of Hungary to China

‘Reasons to hope’ for sustainable peace in Central African Republic – UN Mission chief

GSMA Mobile 360 Series – Latin America, in association with The European Sting

On Brexit: the outcome of UK elections next May to be based on false promises?

‘Favour dialogue’ over violence, UN chief urges all parties following clashes in Mali’s capital

Global Talent – Professional Internships

Sweden’s forests have doubled in size over the last 100 years

EU attempts to make new deal with Turkey as relations deteriorate

Deadly Mali attack to be investigated by UN rights experts

Currency Union might not let an independent Scotland join the EU as the “Yes” front now leads

On Kristallnacht anniversary, UN chief urges renewed fight against ‘crime’ of anti-Semitism

European Semester 2018 Spring Package: Commission issues recommendations for Member States to achieve sustainable, inclusive and long-term growth

Bosnia and Herzegovina: MEPs concerned by slow progress in EU-related reforms

International data flows: Commission launches the adoption of its adequacy decision on Japan

We’ve lost 60% of wildlife in less than 50 years

TTIP wins Merkel’s endorsement ahead of 2016 tough deadline

Auditors say EU spending delivers limited value for money but the timing of their report poses questions

“A sustainable economy, low-carbon, resource-efficient, resilient and more competitive on the global stage”, EU Commissioner Vella in a Sting Exclusive

Eurozone: GDP development heads to naught; the expensive euro serves only Germany

Eurozone business activity again on upwards path

5 ways for business leaders to win in the 2020s

1.1 billion people still lack electricity. This could be the solution

Blockchain can change the face of renewable energy in Africa. Here’s how

Is the ECB ready to flood Eurozone with freshly printed money?

Russia accepts what the EU has to offer and settles to negotiate with Ukraine

Thousands returning to Nigeria’s restive Borno state ‘at risk’; UN ‘gravely concerned’

5 ways to fast-track the transition to a carbon neutral world

The 28 EU leaders don’t touch the thorny issues

Governments adopt UN global migration pact to help ‘prevent suffering and chaos’

Is this a turning point in the fight against slavery?

Parliament approves €500 million for schooling of refugee children in Turkey

MI6 chief calls for espionage 4.0 in the era of the Fourth Industrial Revolution

Destabilizing Lebanon after burning Syria; plotting putsch at home: King and Crown Prince of Saudi Arabia

UN News Daily #UNGA Guide: Mandela Peace Summit, Global Goals, Youth and Yemen

UN agriculture agency digs in to help forests and farms build resilience to climate change

Multilateralism more vital than ever, as World War centenary looms: Security Council

iSting: a reader’s thoughts on the UN Environment Assembly 2017

These coastal countries are sinking the fastest

The EU cuts roaming charges further while the UK weighs Brexit impact

“There are many converging visions and interests between the One Belt One Road initiative and the Juncker Investment Plan”, Ambassador Yang of the Chinese Mission to EU highlights from Brussels

Does research make sense any more? The dire need for new ways to measure success

Is Eurozone preparing to abandon austerity and stagnation?

My disability, my identity

“Financial crisis will not happen in China!”, the Chinese Premier underlines from Switzerland; the Sting reports live from World Economic Forum 2015 in Davos

What makes America the world’s most competitive economy?

Robot inventors are on the rise. But are they welcomed by the patent system?

A hot autumn after a cool summer for Europe

Does the West reserve the fate of Libya and Syria for others? How does this relate to the EU’s Neighborhood Policy?

The 28 EU leaders unable to start a relevant debate on migration and Brexit

G20 LIVE: G20 Statement on the fight against terrorism

Cancer research put at risk by General Data Protection Regulation? The possible dangers of a data privacy EU mania

UN Environment Assembly 2017: where the world convenes to #BeatPollution

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