No More Band-Aids

With global displacement numbers at a record high, it is time to once again analyze the “temporary” communities of refugees, communities that lack the basic social institutions necessary to permanent settlements. The over 15 million refugees and just under 30 million internally displaced peoples living around the world (IDPS) are victims of makeshift institutionalism— the concept that health problems in refugee camps are treated with short-term and curative solutions, instead of the long-term and preventative measures crucial to the maintenance of a stable society.

More often than not, refugees are disproportionally affected by contagious and rapidly-spreading infectious diseases, caused by a dangerous cocktail of factors including their geographic origin, ethnic vulnerability, and deteriorating living conditions in underfunded refugee camps. Coupling these contextual hazards with the traumatic conditions faced by refugees—whether inflicted before their arrival at their respective camps or acquired upon living inside them—reveals how medical aid and health care systems, which should not only battle diseases but should also prevent their outset, are truly lacking in places where they are most needed.

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Andrew Ma

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