The number of migrants arriving in Egypt has risen sharply in recent years due to conflict and instabilities in Syria, Iraq, Sudan, South Sudan, Eritrea, Somalia, Libya and several other countries.
Migrants are struggling with poor services integration, limited employment opportunities and difficulties in accessing healthcare due to diminishing funding.
Many migrants have been subjected to violence and exploitation in their home countries or during their journeys to Egypt and have psychological problems and physical disabilities.
We have developed individual rehabilitative treatment plans for these patients, consisting of medical and mental health assistance, physiotherapy and social support.
Many migrants, asylum seekers and refugees in Egypt are suffering the physical and psychological consequences of the violence and exploitation they have experienced in their home countries, during their journeys or at their destination.
To respond to their specific needs, MSF runs a clinic in the Maadi neighbourhood of the capital, Cairo. The facility takes a multidisciplinary approach to treatment, offering a wide range of services, including general consultations, gynaecology, physiotherapy, mental health support and specialist referrals. The programme also has a social component linking patients to partner organisations for housing, food and access to other social services. Our health promoters and cultural mediators accompany patients through their recovery process and conduct outreach activities among migrant communities.
While in-person emergency care remained available in the clinic throughout 2021, the COVID-19 pandemic forced us to adapt some of our activities. For example, as in 2020, we set up a hotline as an entry point to our services and we temporarily conducted phone-based psychological support. Our hotline received thousands of calls during the year, not only from people seeking medical care but also from those requiring social support. This was normally provided by other partners, but many had ceased or suspended their activities due to the pandemic.
The pandemic also resulted in greater isolation, economic hardship and mental suffering for some of the patients assisted by our teams, and we noted a steep rise in the number of people seeking care. Despite these challenges, we were able to respond to most of their medical needs.
We continue to collaborate with various stakeholders to identify ways to reach more survivors of violence, including Egyptians who do not currently have access to the type of services that MSF provides.
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