MENA: refugees and overall healthcare strengthening

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      Eefje Smet

      Many of the articles in the MENA collection discuss the situation of refugees, The context in which these refugees live vary from camps to urban settings, but they all have a higher risk of mental health and psychosocial stress. Therefore there is a growing burden on MHPSS services in the countries that receive these refugees. Medicalization of mental health care often is an issue (Quosh 2011:260). Many articles discuss interventions related to community based outreach (Quosh 2011:251) and training of Primary Healthcare Providers (PHC) in regard to the integration of Mental health and psychosocial care in primary health care (Hijazi 2011; Budosan 2011). However, such interventions can be more complex than one would think: to achieve the full result of capacity building and training of professionals, these interventions do not stand on their own. Political will to develop and implement policy changes within the Ministry of Health (MoH) are essential aspects for success, as is the commitment of providers and professionals (Budosan 2011).

      What is your experience: Are there tensions between developing MHPSS for refugees and strengthening the care systems for the whole population? Share your thoughts and ideas in the discussion!

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