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Student & Alumni Achievements

Rutgers: Students Study Migrant Crisis after Visiting Greece

Rutgers School of Public Health students, Dr. Jonas Attilus and Dr. Sofia A. Funes, presented their recent research, “The urgent need for integrated care in refugee camps in Greece,” at The Association of Medicine and Psychiatry’s (AMP) Annual Meeting in Atlanta, Georgia.

Drs. Attilus and Funes traveled to Greece this summer as part of the Rutgers School of Public Health’s global education opportunities, where they saw first-hand the migrant crisis.

Following their visit, they were inspired to help the migrants that they met by studying the complex, inadequate, and fragile health systems of the refugee camps in Greece.

The study addresses the overwhelming need for integrated health care in the refugee camps in Greece. Following the height of the refugee crisis, the European Union (EU) established “hotspots” in Greece and Italy to triage the reception, identification, and registration of refugees arriving by sea to the European Union. However, these “hotspots” have become overcrowded and many refugees spend over a year in a reception facility awaiting asylum approval and a host country.

“We knew we needed to better understand the health care system at these refugee camps, so we conducted a study to better gauge the resources,” said Dr. Attilus.

“Rutgers School of Public Health’s study abroad program enabled us to enter the refugee camps and see how they are affected by their experiences and current living conditions,” said Dr. Funes. “As a clinician, I want to provide the best possible care. This program highlighted the health disparities that refugees face as they await asylum.”

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