Last updated 20 June 2016
MSF teams have been present at both entry and exit points in Serbia since late 2014, offering medical services and mental health support, and distributing Non-food Items (NFIs) to people transiting through Serbia, onwards towards the Croatian and Hungarian borders.
The closure of the so called Balkan route has pushed people towards irregular routes and criminal networks, exposing them to kidnappings for ransom, and additional violence and abuse. Around 2,000 migrants are in Serbia at any given time, mainly from Afghanistan, Pakistan and Syria, with between 250 and 450 new arrivals every day.
From 01 January until 10 June 2016, MSF teams provided 16,833 consultations in Serbia.
Since June 2015, Médecins Sans Frontiéres (MSF) team is also running mobile clinics in Belgrade where an increasing number of migrants are transiting. Medical activities have also started on 12 June 2015 in Precevo, a town near the border with FYROM (Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia).
Activities 2014 International Activity Report
The cold winter months posed a great risk to those people forced to sleep outside. MSF found that the undocumented migrants and asylum seekers were not being adequately registered and assisted due to their high numbers. Working with the authorities, MSF repaired, renovated and built toilet and shower facilities at two temporary asylum centres located in Sjenica and Tutin.
In December 2014, teams also began to provide medical assistance to migrants and asylum seekers in the village of Bogovadja, which is about 80 kilometres from the capital Belgrade, as well as in Subotica near the Hungarian border. An MSF team ran mobile clinics and distributed specially designed transit kits containing essential relief items to hundreds of people. The kits contained hygiene, food and survival items ranging from toothpaste to cooking pots and were designed to address the needs of people in transit. The most common health problems encountered by the team were respiratory and skin diseases – mostly due to the cold weather and poor sanitary conditions – and musculoskeletal injuries. There were also patients suffering from chronic illnesses such as hypertension and diabetes who were without the necessary medication; MSF gave them a supply to tide them over until they reached their next destination.
Year MSF first worked in the country: 1991.
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