How a pair of spectacles changed one girl’s life
3484 refugee and migrant children accessed health checks and referrals to public healthcare services, including to immunization, with UNICEF support – almost 3 times the number targeted for the Initiative. 3338 refugee and migrant children accessed mother, and child healthcare, including infant and young child feeding counselling, with UNICEF support – more than twice as many as originally targeted. Implementing partners: Danish Refugee Council, Fenix, Medicins du Monde, Save the Children International, World Vision. An independent evaluation of the ‘RM Child-Health’ Initiative has taken stock of its impact in Bosnia and Herzegovina.  This impact was driven, in large part, by close collaboration between the Initiative and other UNICEF programme areas, particularly health, early childhood development and social inclusion, and by strong relationships with implementing partners: the Danish Refugee Council, Fenix, Medicins du Monde and World Vision. Refugees, migrants and service providers have valued the Initiative, with surveys carried out by UNICEF’s implementing partners finding that the activities responded to needs. The beneficiaries were highly satisfied with both the paediatric services provided and the awareness raising and training delivered. The Initiative was swift to adapt to new and emerging needs, including the COVID-19 pandemic, modifying its information and training materials and approaches to keep health services going. UNICEF and its partners obtained official approval for health workers to work in other cantons and organized transport to get them there, helping to provide cover for health workers who were infected with COVID-19.  Partners also held more frequent meetings with fewer participants to maintain social distancing. In response to requests from refugees and migrants, the Initiative added nutrition information as well as mental health and psychosocial support (MHPSS) services for children. Prior to the Initiative, MHPSS services had focused on adults only. Similarly, the Initiative led to the expansion of routine immunization to refugee and migrant children who had not previously been covered – with obvious benefits for the wider population as this critical immunization gap was closed. In addition, the work of the International Organization for Migration in Bosnia and Herzegovina now follows UNICEF’s protocol on the provision of baby formula milk.  Cantonal health institutes in Bosnia and Herzegovina are now better informed regarding the health conditions of refugees and migrants. UNICEF has also succeeded in integrating Roma and host communities in awareness-raising efforts on health delivered to refugee and migrant populations. This story is part of the Project ‘Strengthening Refugee and Migrant Children’s Health Status in Southern and South Eastern Europe’, Co-funded by the Health Programme of the European Union (the ‘RM Child-Health’ initiative). It represents the views of the author only and is her sole responsibility; it cannot be considered to reflect the views of the European Commission and/or the European Health and Digital Executive Agency (HaDEA) or any other body of the European Union. The European Commission and the Agency do not accept any responsibility for use that may be made of the information it contains. *Names changed to protect identities.  IOD PARC , Evaluation of the UNICEF Project: Strengthening Refugee and Migrant Children’s Health Status in Southern and South-Eastern Europe.  UNICEF ECARO staff.  UNICEF CO staff.
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