Global & Disaster Medicine

Archive for the ‘Migration’ Category

Off the Yemen coast: At least 42 refugees have been killed and dozens injured after the boat they were traveling on was fired upon.  At least 24 of the injured were being treated at nearby hospitals but dozens more were unaccounted for.


The mayor of Calais has banned the distribution of food to migrants as part of a campaign to prevent the establishment of a new refugee camp

The Guardian

UNHCR Figures at a Glance

Figures ata glance

European Union leaders are meeting in Malta to discuss how to stem the influx of migrants from North Africa.


  • “….On Thursday, Italy’s coastguard said more than 1,750 migrants had been rescued in the Mediterranean within 24 hours….”
  • “….More than 180,000 migrants arrived in Italy last year….
  • “….more than 4,500 drowned trying to get [to Italy]…..”


Refugee Research: Clinical characteristics of asylum seekers arriving in Brussels


van Berlaer G, Bohle Carbonell F, Manantsoa S, et al. A refugee camp in the centre of Europe: clinical characteristics of asylum seekers arriving in Brussels. BMJ Open 2016;6:e013963. doi:10.1136/bmjopen-2016013963

“…..Of 4037 patients examined in the field hospital, 3907 were included and analysed for this study. Over 11% of patients suffered from injuries, but these were outnumbered by the proportion of patients with respiratory (36%), dental (9%), skin (9%) and digestive (8%) diagnoses. More than 49% had features of infections at the time of the consultation.

Conclusions: Asylum seekers arriving in a refugee camp in Brussels after a long and hazardous journey suffer mostly from respiratory, dental, skin and digestive diseases. Still, one in seven suffers from injury. These findings, consistent with other reports, should be anticipated when composing emergency medical teams and interagency emergency health or similar kits to be used in a field hospital, even in a Western European country. ….”

4.1. miles: The Greek Coast Guard dealing with the constant flow of rescues & saving refugees from drowning as they attempt to cross to Europe from Turkey.




A new study suggests that refugees seeking asylum in Europe may be bringing with them higher carriage rates of antibiotic-resistant bacteria.


Piso RJ, Käch R, Pop R, Zillig D, Schibli U, Bassetti S, et al. (2017) A Cross-Sectional Study of Colonization Rates with Methicillin-Resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) and Extended-Spectrum Beta-Lactamase (ESBL) and Carbapenemase-Producing Enterobacteriaceae in Four Swiss Refugee Centres. PLoS ONE 12(1): e0170251. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0170251

“….261 refugees at four refugee centers in Switzerland were screened to determine colonization rates for MRSA and extended-spectrum beta-lactamase (ESBL) and carbapenemase-producing Enterobacteriaceae. Pharyngeal, nasal, and inguinal swabs were used for MRSA screening, and rectal swabs and urine were used for ESBL and carbapenemase screening.

The refugees were from five different regions—Middle East, East Africa, Central/West Africa, Northern Africa, and Far East—with the majority coming from Afghanistan, Syria, and Eritrea. Three quarters of the screening participants were male.

The screening results showed that 15.7% of the refugees were colonized with MRSA, a rate roughly 10 times higher than found in the Swiss population…..”


Tens of thousands of people seeking better lives are expected to trek across deserts and board unseaworthy boats in war-torn Libya this year in a desperate effort to reach European shores by way of Italy.

NY Times

“….More than 181,000 people, most so-called “economic migrants” with little chance of being allowed to stay in Europe, attempted to cross the central Mediterranean last year from Libya, Africa’s nearest stretch of coast to Italy. About 4,500 died or disappeared…..”

Eleven health facilities in Sudan, funded by the UN and serving people displaced by conflict in the region, have been forced to close due to lack of money….Funding shortfalls also threaten the closure of a further 49 clinics in Darfur, South Kordofan and Blue Nile states…..About 1 million people are likely to be affected by the closure of the clinics.

The Guardian


Some 2.6 million Nigerians have been displaced since 2009 due to Boko Haram attacks and these displaced persons have largely gone to Maiduguri, the capital of Borno State, and to neighboring countries including Chad, Cameroon and Niger. In those 4 countries, an estimated 480,000 children suffer from acute severe malnutrition.


“….MSF is starting to use what Hanson calls “precious access” to children and families. When they see families to treat disease or provide vaccinations, it’s also a perfect time to distribute food. In the last three months of 2016, MSF — working with U.N., government and other humanitarian organizations — distributed enough food to feed 26,000 families for two weeks…..”



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