• Text size Normal size text | Increase text size by 10% | Increase text size by 20% | Increase text size by 30%

Czech mission funds mobile health care project for refugees in Malaysia

News Stories, 25 June 2007

© UNHCR/S.Hoibak
Hypertension due to stress is common among refugees. This refugee man is being checked in a mobile clinic by a volunteer doctor as his daughter looks on.

KUALA LUMPUR, Malaysia, June 25 (UNHCR) The Czech Embassy in Kuala Lumpur has agreed to fund a nine-month UNHCR project aimed at providing mobile health care for about 1,000 refugees in Malaysia.

Under an agreement signed on Friday with UNHCR and implementing partner, Mercy Malaysia, the Czech mission will provide US$19,000 for the project, which is due to get under way on July 1. Mobile clinics will serve refugees mainly from Myanmar, including the Rohingyas and the Myanmar Muslim communities in Klang district, 30 kilometres west of Kuala Lumpur.

An estimated 150 consultations will be made every month for general health care, including mental health care and pre- and post-natal care. Referral services will be provided for those requiring second-line treatment.

"Access to health care services is sometimes limited for refugees and asylum seekers due to various factors such as costs of medical care, language barriers and difficulties in physically accessing hospitals and clinics," said Volker Türk, UNHCR's representative in Malaysia. "This mobile clinic project will enable health care services to reach refugees where they are," he added.

Czech Republic Ambassador Dana Hunatova said she hoped the project would bring benefit to refugees in Malaysia and also draw more attention to the problems they face. "We understand the whole complexity of this issue and we hope that with this small contribution we are also helping Malaysia to tackle it," she said, noting that refugees cannot find legal employment, cannot send their children to school and have limited access to basic health care.

UNHCR's Türk paid tribute to the Malaysian health authorities for ensuring access to health care for marginalized groups. The project aims to complement medical services provided by state-run and private clinics by bringing health care to refugees who for various reasons are unable to travel far.

At the beginning of this month, there were some 37,000 refugees and asylum seekers registered with UNHCR in Malaysia, mainly from Myanmar.

By Yante Ismail in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia

• DONATE NOW •

 

• GET INVOLVED • • STAY INFORMED •

UNHCR country pages

Public Health

The health of refugees and other displaced people is a priority for UNHCR.

Health crisis in South Sudan

There are roughly 105,000 refugees in South Sudan's Maban County. Many are at serious health risk. UNHCR and its partners are working vigorously to prevent and contain the outbreak of malaria and several water-borne diseases.

Most of the refugees, especially children and the elderly, arrived at the camps in a weakened condition. The on-going rains tend to make things worse, as puddles become incubation areas for malaria-bearing mosquitoes. Moderately malnourished children and elderly can easily become severely malnourished if they catch so much as a cold.

The problems are hardest felt in Maban County's Yusuf Batil camp, where as many as 15 per cent of the children under 5 are severely malnourished.

UNHCR and its partners are doing everything possible to prevent and combat illness. In Yusuf Batil camp, 200 community health workers go from home to home looking educating refugees about basic hygene such as hand washing and identifying ill people as they go. Such nutritional foods as Plumpy'nut are being supplied to children who need them. A hospital dedicated to the treatment of cholera has been established. Mosquito nets have been distributed throughout the camps in order to prevent malaria.

Health crisis in South Sudan

Kuwaiti Funds Provide Vital Medical Aid for Syrians in Lebanon

As the number of Syrian refugees in Lebanon continues to grow, ensuring access to quality health care is becoming an increasing challenge for humanitarian aid groups and the international community. So, Kuwait's unprecedented donation in April of US$110 million for UNHCR's Syria crisis operations this year came at a most opportune time. Slightly more than 40 per cent of the amount has been used to fund programmes in Lebanon, including the provision of vital - and often life-saving - medical care. In the following photo gallery, photographer Shawn Baldwin looks at the essential work being done in just one Kuwaiti-supported clinic in northern Lebanon. The small Al Nahda Primary Health Care Clinic in the town of Beddawi has a staff of seven doctors and one nurse. Between 600 and 700 people seek medical attention there every month and the clinic meets the needs of some of the most vulnerable refugees.

Kuwaiti Funds Provide Vital Medical Aid for Syrians in Lebanon

Statelessness and Women

Statelessness can arise when citizenship laws do not treat men and women equally. Statelessness bars people from rights that most people take for granted such as getting a job, buying a house, travelling, opening a bank account, getting an education, accessing health care. It can even lead to detention.

In some countries, nationality laws do not allow mothers to confer nationality to their children on an equal basis as fathers and this creates the risk that these children will be left stateless. In others, women cannot acquire, change or retain their nationality on an equal basis as men. More than 40 countries still discriminate against women with respect to these elements.

Fortunately, there is a growing trend for states to remedy gender discrimination in their nationality laws, as a result of developments in international human rights law and helped by vigorous advocacy from women's rights groups. The women and children depicted here have faced problems over nationality.

Statelessness and Women

Chad: Health for allPlay video

Chad: Health for all

Refugees in southern Chad receive health care under a European Union-funded programme. A new clinic tackles malaria, malnutrition, respiratory infections and more.
Jordan: Getting Health CarePlay video

Jordan: Getting Health Care

In Jordan's Za'atri Refugee Camp, dust and heat are taking their toll, especially on young children.
South Sudan: Providing Health CarePlay video

South Sudan: Providing Health Care

Mobile clinics and hundred of community workers are mobilized to bring health care to the refugees in Yusuf Batil Refugee Camp.