(Portland, OR) June 16, 2022 – Medical Teams International, a global health and humanitarian organization, is joining voices across the globe to mark World Refugee Day this Monday, June 20. There are approximately 100 million forcibly displaced people worldwide — the highest number ever on record — according to UNHCR, the UN Refugee Agency. Roughly half of them are under the age of 18.
Each day, violence and insecurity force children, families, and individuals to flee their homes in search of safety and a better life. For example, in recent months, 6.8 million people have fled Ukraine, where more than 7 million are internally displaced, according to the International Organization for Migration. In Uganda, which is considered the most welcoming country in Africa for refugees, tens of thousands have fled into the country in recent months due to ongoing conflict within the Democratic Republic of Congo. Medical Teams serves refugees and internally displaced people in several other countries where conflict and war have caused mass displacement, widespread lack of basic health services, and significant strain on health systems.
“Year round, Medical Teams staff serve in refugees camps and transit centers. They are often the first friendly faces and skilled medical professionals that refugees have seen in months or even years,” said Martha Newsome, President and CEO of Medical Teams International. “We see every day that refugees are resourceful, resilient, and courageous. We encourage everyone to consider how they can respond to this massive global crisis in a meaningful, personal way.”
One of many Medical Teams’ success stories is Emmanuel Unzi, Clinician at Belle Health Centre III in Uganda. Originally from South Sudan, Emmanuel fled with his family to Uganda at age 4. His parents re-patriated to South Sudan during a peaceful period, but he again had to flee at age 16 due to the violence. He recalls encountering Medical Teams staff immediately and being impressed with the services provided to refugees. He applied for a job with Medical Teams, and over the years he has earned his Bachelor’s in Public Health, enabling him to take on roles of increasing responsibility.
“I see my journey as one of hope,” said Emmanuel. “I am very privileged to be serving, and to have my profession. We participate in immunizations and screening to prevent and manage disease. Women are able to deliver in Medical Teams health centers, which has reduced the number of maternal deaths. I thank all those who support Medical Teams. It goes toward the right purpose and we are grateful.”
To learn more, give, or volunteer, visit www.medicalteams.org
About Medical Teams International
Founded in 1979, Medical Teams International provides life-saving medical care for people in crisis, such as survivors of natural disasters and refugees. We care for the whole person— physical, emotional, social and spiritual. Daring to love like Jesus, we serve all people—regardless of religion, nationality, sex or race. Learn more at medicalteams.org and on social media using @medicalteams.