Doctors of the World Launches Web App for Refugee Healthcare
- Monday, February 1st, 2016
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International medical charity Doctors of the World has launched a mobile-optimised web app aimed at enabling refugees displaced by the ongoing crisis in the Middle East to find free healthcare close to where they are.
The ClinicFinder app aims to provide simple and clear information about free primary healthcare and medical services for migrants and refugees across Eueope, making use of GPS location technology to show users the nearest free health clinics, and list what services can be accessed.
Users can search by location and by specific services required, such as specialists for children, or services dealing with survivors of abuse or violence. The app has language options including English, Arabic, Farsi and French, and can also be used as a clinic directory for health professionals.
Over 70 health clinics in 16 countries are already listed, and the site encourages people to add other eligible clinics (which must be free to access and non-government provided) to the database, so the number is expected to grow exponentially as the site becomes more popular.
“A difficult journey is made dangerous when people have no idea where they can get help when they need it,” said Gareth Walker, international programme manager for Doctors of the World UK. “ClinicFinder is designed with vulnerable refugees in mind, providing a resource for them to find the free medical help that the European public has made available. It is a map of humanitarian effort, and deserves to be shared as widely as possible.”
The app is one of many that have aimed to help migrants fleeing violence in the Middle East, with many experts noting that the widespread use of smartphones among refugees has had a transformative effect on the crisis, enabling information and advice to be distributed much more effectively, and allowing refugees to keep in contact with relatives and friends in different areas much more easily.