Local response to humanitarian crises: the experience of Roma 2 Local Health Authority with the Afghani and Ukrainian crises
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Migrants and Vulnerable Populations' Health Unit- Local Health Authority Roma e Italy
Department of Prevention- Local Health Authority Roma 2 Italy
Publication date: 2023-04-26
Popul. Med. 2023;5(Supplement):A1698
Background and objective:
In August 2021 and March 2022, Roma 2 Local Health Authority (ASL) was confronted with the prompt arrival of migrants from Afghanistan and Ukraine, following the humanitarian crises occurring in the two countries. The Migrants and Vulnerable Populations’ Health Unit (MVPH) developed and coordinated an intervention model aimed at responding to the health needs of newly arrived migrants.

A multidisciplinary team was established in both emergencies, coordinated by the MVPH Unit, composed of nurses, medical doctors, vaccination staff, administrative staff, cultural mediators, responsible for outreach activities in the hotels were migrants were hosted. A basic assessment of health needs, COVID-19 tests and vaccination, TB screening were offered on-site. People were also granted access to health services through release of an STP (temporarily present foreigner) code. For the Ukrainian population, in addition to outreach activities a dedicated Hub was also set up to guarantee free access to COVID-19 tests and vaccination, medical screening, vaccinations included in the National schedule and STP code release, with the full time presence of cultural mediators. Collaboration with Non-Governmental Organizations (NGOs) working in support to the humanitarian crisis was activated.

From August 21 to September 2 2021, 469 people from Afghanistan arrived in three facilities located in ASL Roma 2 area who were all assessed for their needs, were offered COVID-19 vaccine and received STP codes. From 1 April to 30 June 2022, 626 people accessed the dedicated Ukraine Hub. Forty-five site visits were carried out in the six hotels hosting Ukrainan refugees, with 343 people receiving a clinical examination.

The presence of a dedicated service has allowed a rapid reorganization of ASL Roma 2 services to deal with humanitarian emergencies and the prompt activation of already established collaborative networks.

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