United Nations interagency health-needs-assessment mission
On 4–5 December 2012, a United Nations interagency health-needs-assessment mission was conducted in four of the 14 Syrian refugee camps in southern Turkey: two in the Gaziantep province (İslahiye and Nizip camps), and one each in the provinces of Kahramanmaraş (Central camp) and Osmaniye (Cevdetiye camp). The mission, which was organized jointly with the World Health Organization (WHO), the Ministry of Health of Turkey and the Disaster and Emergency Management Presidency of the Prime Ministry of Turkey (AFAD), the United Nations Populations Fund (UNFPA), the United Nations hildren’s Fund (UNICEF), the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for refugees (UNHCR) and comprised representatives of the International Organization for Migration (IOM). It was coordinated by WHO.
The primary goals of the mission were: to gain a better understanding of the capacities existing in the camps, including the health services provided, and the functioning of the referral system; and, on the basis of the findings, identify how the United Nations agencies could contribute to upporting activities related to safeguarding the health of the more than 138 000 Syrian citizens living in Turkey at the time of the mission.
The mission team found that the high-level Turkish health-care services were accessible to and free of charge for all Syrian refugees, independent of whether they were living in or outside the camps. Possible areas of United Nations’ support were related to: meeting the health and protection needs of the refugees; strengthening preventive public health efforts; setting up an integrated disease early-warning system (EWARN); improving health-information management; facilitating data-sharing; expanding the community-based mental-health and psychosocial support services; and running health-promotion and advocacy campaigns.