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Refugee and Migrant Crisis in Europe

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Short project description: Provision of medical assistance and psychological first aid to refugees and migrants in their transit through Serbia. Assistance was provided through medical mobile unit (MMU) consisting of medical doctor, nurse, psychologist, interpreter and field coordinator. Project was implemented in Belgrade, Sid – Principovac, Adasevci, Berkasovo and Sid railway station in the period from September 2015 until March 2016. IAN Mobile team unit worked every day, seven days per week trying to provide aid to those who were in great need.

During these six months of project implementation medical first aid (MFA) was provided to 7373 refugees, and 4264 refugees received psychological first aid. The most common health problems were related to long journey, poor hygiene, very cold weather, malnutrition, long bus rides, long walking, etc. There were also problems related to respiratory tract infections and painful conditions: toothache, headache, muscles and joints pain (information related to diagnosis can be found in the file diagnosis final). Chronical health problems like diabetes, asthma, hypertension, etc. were also diagnosed. Majority of beneficiaries that were provided with PFA needed assistance related to satisfaction of basic needs (food, clothes). They usually didn’t have winter clothes and the weather was very cold. They were not used to such a cold weather. Lack of basic information, like why they were not allowed to cross the border, or when the train was leaving, etc. was also their concern. They were usually very concerned about their future, but at the same time very pleased that they managed to leave the country of origin. Many of them were talking about trauma they experienced in the country of origin and during the transit. Majority of them were coming from Syria, Afghanistan and Iraq. Psychological consequences of traumatic experiences were often very obvious. Sometimes they were not aware that feelings that were present were reactions on trauma they survived. Information about stress reactions and education about importance of getting professional help if psychological problems/difficulties still persisted when they settle down was important part of psychological support.

International Medical Corps (IMC)

Contact person: Bojana Trivuncic bzivanovic@ian.org.rs

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