World doctors to discuss migrant health in Istanbul

World doctors to discuss migrant health in Istanbul

World doctors to discuss migrant health in Istanbul

A Syrian refugee child receives treatment at a health center at Al Zaatari refugee camp in the Jordanian city of Mafraq, near the border with Syria, January 30, 2016. REUTERS Photo

Doctors from around the world are set to discuss health issues in times of war and migration at a symposium in Turkey, as the country struggles to take care of more than 2 million migrants who have fled violence in war-torn Syria.

Scheduled to take place in Istanbul between Feb. 26 and 27, the symposium titled “War, Migration and Health: What Should Physicians Do?” is organized by the World Medical Association (WMA) with the contribution of the Turkish Medical Association (TTB). 

International medical experts as well as representatives from medical associations from across the world will convey their experiences on maintaining effective health and social care systems and the ability to respond to the basic needs of refugees and migrants at the symposium. 

Some 12.5 million people need humanitarian aid inside Syria, as 7.6 million people have been internally displaced and 4 million people have become “refugees” outside Syria, according to World Health Organization (WHO) figures.

WMA President Sir Michael Marmot, TTB President M.D. Bayazıt İlhan, Istanbul Medical Chamber President Prof. M.D. Selçuk Erez, former World Medical Association President M.D. Xavier Deau, Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) representative M.D. Apostolos Veizis and United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) rapporteur M.D. Dainius Puras are some of the notable names that are expected to be in attendance during the symposium.

The geography that Turkey is a part of has turned into a region where being a refugee is considered a routine event, as millions of Syrians and other nationals have fled their homes and continue to do so.

Within the last five years, at least 15 armed conflicts have broken out or resurged in different parts of the world, the Global Trends Report by the UNHCR said.

In 2014, each day 42,500 people on average became refugees, asylum seekers or were internally displaced, while only 126,800 refugees were able to return to their countries, the lowest figure for the last 30 years, the report stated.