October 12, 2016
A focal point at this year’s World Health Summit, which ended on October 11th, was refugee mental health. This issue is arguably more important now than ever in light of the ongoing refugee crisis, whereby individuals suffering psychological consequences as a result of living in a war-torn region are not receiving the mental health services they need. The M8 Alliance, which organized this Summit, included the right to health of refugees as one of their key action points in its declaration.
The M8 Alliance is a collaboration between academic institutions committed to improving global health. The Alliance currently has 23 members based in 16 different countries. It was established as a network at the first annual World Health Summit in 2009.
IFHHRO is deeply concerned about the continuing inhumane condition in which refugees are caught, for instance in Greece. Already severely traumatized, they are further traumatized in their “waiting” condition in the country. Recipient countries under the EU-Turkey deal (“Relocation Farce”, says Human Rights Watch) fail grossly to fulfil their commitment in relocating refugees. The World Medical Association, representing all doctors worldwide, said in April of this year: “We are demanding that destination countries ensure that migrants and refugees get access to medical services on a par with their settled population. In particular, there must be adequate mental health services to deal with post-traumatic stress disorder and other psychosocial disorders.”