Healing old wounds
Yura, a social worker, had joined the CRWB a year earlier and was loving her work. “Guiding through people from refugee and migrant backgrounds on health-related procedures in their host country is a way to empower them to find solutions to health issues,” she explained. And this was particularly vital for those fleeing from armed conflicts and humanitarian crises. Radostina Belcheva, Project Coordinator and Deputy-Chair of CRWB explained: “In Bulgaria, refugee children arrive with their parents or – in some cases – unaccompanied. Psychological problems, infectious diseases, medically unobserved pregnancies and, in particular, a lack of immunization, are common problems that have a negative impact on their health and well-being.” Working directly with refugees, Yura would consult with families seeking to access health services, such as immunization. However, parents often lacked the necessary vaccination documents. According to Yura, “Sometimes children have not had any vaccinations, or they have been vaccinated in their country of origin, but their immunization cards have been lost or destroyed.” Such cases required additional consultations, research and coordination, as well as testing for antibodies and immune responses when it was not clear whether the child has been vaccinated. “By empowering parents to familiarize themselves with the immunization plans and procedures we help them become proactive in following up on their children’s health,” said Yura.