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Digital Transforming Refugee Healthcare

Community-based healthcare, digital connectivity and mobile learning in refugee healthcare.

OVERVIEW

There is an unprecedented number of displaced people in the world today. The resulting mass population movement, resettlement in temporary locations and overcrowding in refugee settlements has created a global healthcare challenge.

Governments and humanitarian agencies are often unable to provide adequate support to communities overwhelmed by the influx of new populations. This can mean increased incidence of communicable diseases and otherwise preventable ailments.

The convergence of community-based healthcare workers and digital technologies can help address these challenges, so refugees can enjoy better health in stronger communities while they determine the next step in their journey.



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KEY FINDINGS

Addressing refugee healthcare demands solutions that can scale:

  • Community health workers fill the gap. These programs are a sustainable and effective channel to provide healthcare, employment and livelihood opportunities for often economically isolated populations.

  • Connectivity changes the game. Global connectivity is driving innovative ways to address refugee healthcare needs through telemedicine and easier information access.

  • Mobility breaks the mold. Device ownership paves the way for new technology applications that address refugees’ health needs. There is increased adoption of mLearning, electronic learning delivered through portable devices.

62% of refugees live in locations covered by 3G networks.

RECOMMENDATIONS

Transforming refugee healthcare with digital technologies cannot happen in isolation—and the benefits are far reaching:


The community impact. mLearning can multiply the impact of community health programs by empowering refugees as healthcare providers. Community healthcare workers can navigate cultural sensitivities and trust barriers to increase quality of care. And training and employment opportunities can bring a sense of purpose to disenfranchised refugees.

The power of partners. NGOs, governments, the private sector—and refugee communities—each have a vital role to play. For example, NGOs that train community health workers on the ground can incorporate mLearning to rapidly scale program effectiveness and scope.


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