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Table of Contents   
EDITORIAL COMMENTARY  
Year : 2017  |  Volume : 10  |  Issue : 4  |  Page : 787-788
Displaying solidarity and compassion to meet the needs of the refugee population in European region


Department of Community Medicine, Shri Sathya Sai Medical College and Research Institute, Ammapettai, Chennai, Tamil Nadu, India

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Date of Web Publication5-Oct-2017
 

How to cite this article:
Shrivastava SR, Shrivastava PS, Ramasamy J. Displaying solidarity and compassion to meet the needs of the refugee population in European region. Ann Trop Med Public Health 2017;10:787-8

How to cite this URL:
Shrivastava SR, Shrivastava PS, Ramasamy J. Displaying solidarity and compassion to meet the needs of the refugee population in European region. Ann Trop Med Public Health [serial online] 2017 [cited 2019 Dec 7];10:787-8. Available from: http://www.atmph.org/text.asp?2017/10/4/787/196497
Amidst the impending globalization, the number of international refugees and migrants is constantly increasing.[1] Different parts of the world are disturbed due to the various civil rights and humanitarian emergencies, and the European region is no different in that regard.[1]

In fact, the available estimates suggest that in excess of 75 million international migrants are now residing in the European region alone, which is 33% of the total international migrants' estimates on the global scale.[1],[2] The challenge is further aggravated by the growing inequalities between different nations, and it is clearly evident in terms of the number of people migrating to the region, with more than a million people entering the region in 2015, of which one-third were children.[1],[2]

The problem of migration is not only restricted to the magnitude of people migrating but also has numerous health/welfare, sociocultural, financial, legal, and infrastructure and logistic-related challenges associated with it.[2],[3] In addition, the short-term priorities (viz., food, health care, shelter, safety, neutralizing the sense of fear within local communities, etc.) is remarkably variable from the long-term needs of either integrating the migrants or provision of labor opportunities, or even the formulation of their return policies.[1],[2]

One of the major hurdles that are currently interfering with the implementation of relief or restorative measures is the lack of reliable and comparable data regarding migration trends across the entire region.[2] At the same time, the health sector is facing the challenges of unprecedented demands, lack of preparedness, logistic constraints, or attitude of health professionals, and hence it has not been quite effective in meeting the health needs of the refugee population.[4] Further, the labor sector has also not been conducive to the refugees, and despite having good vocational opportunities, minimal salaries have been paid to even the skilled professionals.[1],[3] In addition, women have been exposed to sexual violence-abuse-trafficking and risks of pregnancy or childbirth in the absence of assistance of skilled health personnel, and similarly, different vulnerable groups have been exposed to varying challenges.[3],[4]

Furthermore, it is a fact that the real source (conflict in Syria) of migration of people to the region is not going to be resolved soon in the near future, and thus a humanitarian, rational, and effective approach is the need of the hour.[2] Even the policy makers from the affected nations have advocated for a collaborative international approach to address these issues.[2] Thus, the World Health Organization in collaboration with the regional welfare agencies is working together for formulating a comprehensive policy, which will be built on the principles of Sustainable Development Goals and accomplishment of universal health coverage, and will comprise of various elements and an action plan to respond to the multiple needs of the refugee population or the resulting public health challenges.[2],[3],[4]

In order to improve the existing scenario, there is an immense need to improve the quality of evidence available on migration and health, so as to enable policy makers to make an informed choice to allocate the resources.[2],[4] In addition, measures to strengthening the healthcare delivery system, improving work opportunities, paying the employees at standardized rates, encouraging research activities to ascertain the precise needs of the refugee population, and ensuring these findings reach the policy makers, involving media, social media, to spread awareness about the existing welfare measures and negate any factors that prevent refugees from utilizing the available services, and involving representatives from the refugee population to get an insight into their problems while improving the uptake of exiting measures can be systematically implemented to improve the existing challenges.[1],[2],[3],[4]

To conclude, there is no doubt that the problem can be significantly reduced if the root cause of the problem is addressed, but when that option is not available in the near future, it is the responsibility of policy makers and other stakeholders to ensure that these refugees live an ordinary life as they were living before they were displaced.

Acknowledgements

SRS contributed in the conception or design of the work, drafting of the work, approval of the final version of the manuscript, and agreed for all aspects of the work.

PSS contributed in the literature review, revision of the manuscript for important intellectual content, approval of the final version of the manuscript, and agreed for all aspects of the work.

JR contributed in revising the draft, approval of the final version of the manuscript, and agreed for all aspects of the work.

Financial support and sponsorship

Nil.

Conflicts of interest

There are no conflicts of interest.



 
   References Top

1.
Postelnicescu C. Europe's new identity: The refugee crisis and the rise of nationalism. Eur J Psychol 2016;12:203-9.  Back to cited text no. 1
    
2.
World Health Organization. WHO/Europe stands with refugees on World Refugee Day; 2016. Available from: http://www.euro.who.int/en/health-topics/health-determinants/migration-and-health/news/news/2016/06/whoeurope-stands-with-refugees-on-world-refugee-day. [Last Accessed on 2016 June 24].   Back to cited text no. 2
    
3.
Alisic E, Letschert RM. Fresh eyes on the European refugee crisis. Eur J Psychotraumatol 2016;7:31847.  Back to cited text no. 3
    
4.
Shrivastava SR, Shrivastava PS, Ramasamy J. Strengthening the health care delivery system to respond to the health needs of the migrant population: European nations' perspective. CHRISMED J Health Res 2016;3:240-1.  Back to cited text no. 4
  [Full text]  

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Correspondence Address:
Saurabh R Shrivastava
3rd Floor, Department of Community Medicine, Shri Sathya Sai Medical College and Research Institute, Ammapettai Village, Thiruporur, Guduvancherry Main Road, Sembakkam Post, Kancheepuram, Tamil Nadu
India
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None


DOI: 10.4103/1755-6783.196497

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