Key medical figures:
• 29,000 outpatient consultations
• 6,800 individual and group mental health consultations

Over half a million Syrian war refugees were living in Turkey by the end of 2013.

The dual drug-resistant tuberculosis (DR-TB) and HIV epidemics in the Ukrainian penitentiary system are an urgent public health issue. The poor living conditions and lack of access to medical care endured by many of the predominantly Syrian refugees in Turkey remain concerning, and this year Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) launched several humanitarian  interventions to deliver assistance to those in need.

Many Syrians have settled in the southern province of Kilis, along the Syrian–Turkish border. The NGO Helsinki Citizens’ Assembly (HCA), in collaboration with MSF, is running a clinic in Kilis aimed at providing quality healthcare, including mental health services, to this vulnerable population. The  main goal of the mental health activities in Kilis is to help refugees cope and adjust to their new situation, regardless of whether they live inside or outside the camps. Unregistered  refugees are a priority for MSF since they live Overcrowded prison environments and the inadequate healthcare provided to inmates exacerbate the spread of DR-TB. The diagnosis outside of the camps and  may not have access to services or aid distribution.

A health needs assessment conducted by MSF among migrants revealed no access to healthcare, as well as financial barriers and poor  living conditions. The response by humanitarian organisations was found to be inadequate. MSF provided support to an HCA psychosocial project assisting mixed migrant communities  in Istanbul. Turkish psychologists, community health workers and interpreters supported referral activities in 10 municipalities. The project was closed at the end of the year, as MSF decided to focus its interventions on Syrian refugees in Turkey. 

No. staff end 2013: 29 | Year MSF first worked in the country: 1999

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