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The challenges of supporting refugees’ health during COVID-1919.05.2021

Maharat Foundation, the Al-Jana Center and EuroHealthNet are pleased to invite you to a digital dialogue entitled “The challenges of supporting refugees’ health during COVID-19” on Wednesday, 26 May at 15:00, Beirut time (GMT+2).

Access to health information is necessary to contain the COVID-19 epidemic, but social and economic inequality affects the ability of all segments of society to access this information. Refugees and newly-arrived migrants face particular challenges in accessing and acting on health information, due, for instance, to barriers of language, access to health services, discrimination, and inadequate housing.

In this dialogue we will discuss solutions to help even the most marginalised members of society access health information and services to protect their health and wellbeing. We will hear specific case studies around access to health information in Lebanon, including efforts to combat disinformation on social media platforms. We will also hear from actors in the European Union who have developed services and projects to help improve health literacy and access to services for refugees and asylum seekers.

Speakers include:

  • Hisham Kayed, director of the Al-Jana Center in Lebanon, on his foundation’s experience with refugees and the challenges of accessing information and ways to enhance it so that refugees can make the necessary health decisions in this pandemic.
  • Ayham Alsahli from the Campji platform, on the importance of local media to enhance access to information to all categories, including the most marginalized, challenges and lessons learned.
  • Roula Mikhael, Executive Director, Maharat Foundation, on the monitoring carried out by Maharat for COVID-19-related rumours and their impact on recipients, particularly the most marginalized groups.
  • Haley Schuler McCoin, who oversaw the Internews report “Peeling the onion: Multi-layered infodemic and its impact on trust for Syrians in Lebanon,” will speak about the conclusions of the report, which included interviews and focus groups with Syrian refugees to analyze the pandemic-related information environment.
  • Catelijne Mittendorff, Pharos Netherlands, on lessons learnt and best practices from their experience to reach refugee and asylum seeker populations in the Netherlands with access to relevant health information and support to access services.A series of recommendations will be issued to enhance access to information to enable all segments of society, especially refugees, to make health decisions that contribute to the eradication of the pandemic.

The session is part of a series of digital dialogues held in collaboration with EuroHealthNet, a European network of European public health actors, as part of the EU-funded Med Dialogue for Rights and Equality programme.   

Watch the whole debate


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