The UN refugee agency (UNHCR) recently asked Terre Sans Frontières (TSF) to oversee refugee health interventions for the entire Republic of the Congo.
Already heavily involved in the area through its health care assistance program for rural refugees, which has been under way in the Likouala Department for three years, TSF is now also responsible for the urban refugees in Brazzaville, the country’s capital.
To establish a solid foundation for its new intervention, TSF has rehabilitated a health and social services centre that will be at the heart of the care offered to the 22,000 urban refugees from the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), the Central African Republic (CAR) and Rwanda.
A container filled with medication and medical equipment will soon be sent with the support of Collaboration santé internationale (CSI) to reinforce this new health and social services centre, the Impfondo hospital, the Bétou integrated health centre and their various attached rural health centres.
Taking care of refugee health in an urban environment is just as demanding as rural health care, because the economic conditions in the capital limit access to primary health care, sexual and reproductive health services, and the fight against HIV/AIDS.
More and more urban refugees are struggling with drug and alcohol abuse problems, and they are also increasingly suffering from mental health issues, communicable diseases and chronic conditions.
With the 34,000 refugees currently receiving assistance in rural areas, TSF is now providing health care to close to 60,000 refugees in the Republic of the Congo, thanks to a multidisciplinary team of 165 people.
TSF has acquired invaluable expertise in recent years, resulting in in-depth knowledge of the region, experience managing health professionals, and the ability to mobilise various stakeholders, as demonstrated through past collaborations with the World Food Programme, UNICEF and the World Bank.