Health, a central problem for migrants in Mexico’s Ciudad Juarez

Ciudad Juarez, Mexico, Jul 21 (EFE).- Malnutrition, stress and anxiety are some of the health problems that afflict migrants arriving in Mexico, leading the United Nations to implement a program to serve this population in Ciudad Juarez in the state of Chihuahua, bordering the United States.

“The wear and tear during their journey to reach Mexico first and then the northern border makes us attend to these health problems, in addition to offering them psychological help,” Ignacio Lopez, the United Nations Children’s Fund director in Ciudad Juarez, told EFE.

He said the project, called “Let’s go together,” aims to get closer to people in need and, through mobile units, provide them with medical care.

Representatives of the agency recently went to the Solus Christus shelter, south of the border, to offer consultations in areas such as dentistry, nutrition and general medicine.

The UNICEF ​​representative said special care is given to boys and girls, who “have different health needs. It is important that they have a good state of nutrition and, if necessary, are directed to another space so that they receive specialized medical care.”

According to records, from March to date, the program has provided more than 2,000 medical consultations in 13 different shelters in the city.

The main health problems suffered by migrants are stress and anxiety, due to the situation they faced in their place of origin such as violence or threats.

Second, there is dehydration, since most of the countries they come from do not have climates as warm as Mexico.

They also suffer from malnutrition, since they do not have a way to satisfy their basic food needs and to this are added leg injuries due to the long journey they travel, the vast majority, on foot.

For Maria Luisa Perez, originally from Honduras, the program is very good because “children and adults are cared for, now we struggle with coughs in children, they get sick with fever and this medical care helps prevent diseases,” she told EFE.

Another migrant, Robinson Lopez, from Guatemala, said in an interview with EFE that medical assistance helps given the lack of resources.

“We have bad (sick) children with fever and cough, this will help us to prescribe and give us medication,” he said, adding that children especially are dehydrated and have headaches.

The organization said medical and psychological consultations offered to migrants stranded in northern Mexico show conditions related to the musculoskeletal system, gastrointestinal diseases, respiratory conditions, urinary, gynecological, skin infections and chronic conditions.

In addition, symptoms related to post-traumatic stress disorder, anxiety, grief or loss, and depression prevail among the population.

The region is experiencing a record migratory flow to the US , whose Customs and Border Protection has detected nearly 1.4 million undocumented immigrants so far in fiscal year 2022, which began last October.

In addition, Mexico received a record of more than 58,000 refugee applications in the first half of 2022, an annual increase of almost 15 percent, according to the Mexican Commission for Aid to Refugees of the government. EFE


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