Refugees and victims of war
Within the IPPNW student movement, the work for refugees and victims of war has played a large role, as medical students come into contact with asylum seekers and refugees during their rotations or witness war and refugee camps in their own countries. In either case, the interest in these topics and the willingness of medical students to engage themselves for these people has been great and over time, many projects have evolved, dealing with the medical situation of refugees and victims or war.
IPPNW current and former projects related to refugees and victims of war:
- Refugee Camp Project (ReCap): In the Refugee Camp project (ReCap), medical students from all over the world have the chance to live and work in a refugee camp for one month each summer, mainly working in the health units and with the children of the camps. For the past two years, our Palestinian students have hosted groups of IPPNW students in Bethlehem refugee camps and since last year, IFMSA has joined this program. You can cosider joining next year's session if you're interested in this topic.
- Achten statt verachten: All over Europe and especially in Germany, the topic of paperless people has hit a strong chord with medical students who witness these "illegal" immigrants, who have no access to general health care and are dependent on non-governmental organizations who can connect them with doctors that will treat them for free. The German IPPNW project "achten statt verachten" ("respect instead of scorn") is only one of many, but has already spurned a lot of attention by the media. Try finding similar projects near you that deal with paperless people and ask if you as medical students can help in any way.
- Peace through Health: Peace Through Health is an emerging academic discipline to study how health interventions in actual and potential war zones may contribute to peace. IPPNW supports this new way of looking at the possibilities of medical personal to actually contribute to peace making and the connection between health and peace. Some IPPNW doctors are working on introducing this idea into the medical curriculum, something McMaster university has already done. If you're interested to find out more, check out this link to their website.
- Book Project: IPPNW students are trying to support medical students in war zones with english text books and other materials needed for their studies. A great example for this is our Palestinian book project.
For more information on issues related to refugees, please visit the UN Refugee Agency online.