“We are witnessing a paradigm change, an unchecked slide into an era in which the scale of global forced displacement as well as the response required is now clearly dwarfing anything seen before.”
António Guterres, UNHCR.

A week ago – June 20th – marked World Refugee Day.

The refugee crisis and the ensuing tragic loss of life in the Mediterranean Sea and elsewhere has been a topic of increasing public attention since 2015 – and with it awareness has turned to the vast array of health inequalities, risks, and dangers to life associated with refugee status.

Most prevalent amongst refugees and asylum seekers (especially those fleeing from active conflict areas) are mental health problems such as post-traumatic stress disorder, depression and anxiety.

Medical conditions prevalent in particular groups can include tuberculosis, nutritional deficiencies/malnutrition, chronic hepatitis B infection, intestinal parasites and lack of immunisation.


Considering these facts is vital – 2015 saw EU member states receive over 1.2 million first time asylum applications. Following last week’s EU Referendum, when the UK is renegotiating its relationship with the EU and conversation turns to immigration, knowing the urgency of care required by displaced peoples is especially important in providing continued support and aid to those who do desperately need it.

  • An unprecedented 65.3 million people worldwide have been forcibly displaced from their homes, 21.3 million of which are refugees, and 10 million people are ‘stateless’, meaning that they are denied a fixed identity and access to basic rights such as healthcare and education.
  • Almost 34,000 people every day are forced to flee their homes due to conflict and persecution.
  • According to UNHCR data, over half of all refugees are under the age of 18.

For more information, and to find out how you can get involved, please visit the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR).

World Refugee Day Infographic - MCR Global Health Society

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