Humanitarian site of Agadez, Niger, April 2021 | Photo: MEDU
Humanitarian site of Agadez, Niger, April 2021 | Photo: MEDU

Concluding a project on mental health for refugees in Agadez, Niger, the organization Doctors for Human Rights (MEDU) has launched an appeal to Europe, highlighting the need to ensure humanitarian corridors and the possibility of integration.

The Italian organization Doctors for Human Rights (MEDU) said on April 26 that it will conclude a mental health project for refugees in Agadez, Niger. MEDU said in a statement that it has been active in the country since 2019, supporting over 1,000 refugees mainly hailing from Sudan.

The organization highlighted that "the issues concerning each one of them call into question the responsibility of the international community, [and] of European countries over the management of migration flows that cannot be exclusively focused on their cynical containment." It added that "it remains essential to ensure for refugees of Agadez both humanitarian corridors towards third countries and concrete possibilities of integration in Niger."

Nearly 4,000 psychological consultations

The project was promoted inside the humanitarian site and in a number of hosting facilities managed by the UN Refugee Agency UNHCR in Agadez, a key city for migration flows that start in western Africa and cross Saharan routes to reach Libya and then Europe. MEDU's team carried out 4,000 psychological consultations, over 2,700 medical checkups and over 3,100 psycho-social interventions.The organization also promoted initiatives like training, theatre, music, sport, small activities of craftsmanship.

MEDU is mainly composed of local personnel supported by experts from Italy. "MEDU operators took care, in difficult conditions, of a population of men, women and children who survived unspeakable atrocities, first during the civil war in Sudan and then in torture camps in Libya."

"Three out of four people treated by the clinical team presented the most serious forms of post-traumatic stress disorder. The people assisted had survived on average eight serious traumatic events including torture, detention, reiterated beatings, being in proximity to death, the prolonged deprivation of food and water, the violent death of family or strangers, sexual violence."

Hundreds of stories of resilience

"Hundreds of the individual stories that were collected represent monumental proof not just of human cruelty but also of the extraordinary resilience of these people," MEDU stressed, recalling that the project in Agadez was promoted in partnership with UNHCR and with the support of the Waldensian Table. Doctors for Human Rights is continuing its activity in Niger with an emergency project in the Diffa region.

 

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