Saturday, June 23, 2007

Mobile Healthcare Clinic For Refugees In Malaysia

KUALA LUMPUR, June 22 (Bernama) -- Beginning next month, about 1,000 refugees, mostly in the Klang Valley, will be able to enjoy free mobile healthcare service.
The project is jointly organised by the Czech Republic embassy in Kuala Lumpur, United Nations High Commission for Refugees (UNHCR) and Malaysian Medical Relief Society (Mercy Malaysia).
UNHCR representative to Malaysia Dr Volker Turk said the service would be held once a month at selected community halls and its regularity would be reviewed based on assessment by the Mercy Malaysia team of doctors and nurses.
"This is basically to compliment the healthcare services provided by the government," he told reporters after signing a memorandum of understanding with representatives of the embassy and Mercy Malaysia on the nine-month project at his office here.
The Czech Republic was represented by its ambassador to Malaysia Dana Hunatova and Mercy Malaysia by its honorary treasurer Ir Amran Mahzan.
Dr Turk said the Klang Valley was chosen for the launching of the project since it had the biggest number of refugees in the country.
"They include the Myanmar Muslims, the Rohingyas, and other ethnic minorities," he added.
He said the mobile clinic project would enable healthcare services "to reach the refugees where they are", adding that the most common medical complaints among them were diabetes and hypertension.
"Access to healthcare services is sometimes limited for refugees and asylum-seekers due to various factors such as the cost of medical care, language barrier and difficulty in physically accessing hospitals and clinics."
Meanwhile, Hunatova said her country was providing an initial sum of US$20,000 (RM72,000) for the medicines under the project.

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