Italy

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Key medical figures:
• 6,750 outpatient consultations

Migrants and asylum seekers face many health challenges upon arrival in Italy, in both reception and detention centres.

Victims of torture, human trafficking, sexual violence and people with mental health issues are particularly vulnerable on first arrival in Italy, but there are insufficient services to meet  their needs. Crowded reception centres and poor living conditions in facilities for migrants pose further health risks. Teams from Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) provide  medical and mental healthcare to migrants and asylum seekers in reception centres on Sicily and in Calabria. Basic healthcare is offered to undocumented migrants in Ragusa  province, Sicily. In Pozzallo, MSF supports the local health authorities with medical triage of migrants on arrival. In December, MSF called for the temporary closure of the  Lampedusa reception centre so that it could be refurbished to ensure minimum reception In 2011, MSF decided to launch a programme to provide obstetric and neonatal support and  paediatric care for children under five, in five district hospitals and 10 health posts in Huaphan province, northeastern Laos. The aim was to reduce infant mortality, as well  tandards and respect for human dignity. The  authorities closed the centre and began making upgrades. MSF continued a pilot project for the early diagnosis and treatment of tuberculosis among migrants hosted in reception and detention centres. MSF teams also worked in Milan, Trapani, Caltanissetta and Rome, in collaboration with the Ministry of Health, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and private companies responsible for managing reception and detention centres. In Lombardy, an MSF team worked with the NGO OIKO S in the Latin American migrant communities to ensure access to  diagnosis and treatment of Chagas disease, which is endemic in their home countries. A team also completed a three-month assessment of the ongoing healthcare needs of homeless  patients discharged from hospitals in Milan, Rome and Palermo. A project will be launched in Milan in 2014.

A Syrian refugee whose family had escaped a chemical weapons attack and had travelled through   Lebanon, Egypt and Libya before arriving in Pozzallo, Italy.

The trip was organised by armed men on board we had no water or food. Thirsty, we drank the  used engine water. We stayed three days at sea before we were rescued near the Sicilian coast. All I want is a safe place for my family. Many Syrians are stuck in hell: caught between the battles, without doctors and food.

No. staff end 2013: 11 | Year MSF first worked in the country: 1999

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