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Addressing the Health Needs of Migrant Children: A Look at the CERF Project in Machuca, Ocotepeque

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Addressing the Health Needs of Migrant Children: A Look at the CERF Project in Machuca, Ocotepeque

Migrant Children’s Health and Well-Being Day in Machuca, Ocotepeque

Machuca, Ocotepeque, February 16, 2024 (PAHO/WHO) – Migrant children, especially unaccompanied minors, are more likely to experience traumatic events and stressful situations and may have difficulty accessing health services. To address this issue, Dr. Alejandra Velásquez, PAHO consultant for the PAHO/WHO CERF project “Answer to the main neglected health needs” in Ocotepeque, organized a health and well-being day in the border community of Machuca.

Dr. Velásquez emphasized that “in our vision as a Health Cluster through the CERF project, health is a complete embrace that unites physical well-being with mental balance and we also care about the health of boys and girls.” The event, held in collaboration with ADRA in Machuca, Ocotepeque, aimed to create safe spaces for the entire population in human mobility, recognizing that these spaces are shelters to reduce the burden of stress and tension that the journey causes, especially for the child population.

Migrants often endure long, grueling journeys with little access to food and water, sanitation, and other basic services, increasing their risk of contracting communicable diseases and experiencing poor mental health. Therefore, the health and well-being day focused on the importance of hand hygiene and self-care, as well as creating a magical corner for children and adults to alleviate anxiety and stress.

The activity was a resounding success, reflecting the synergy and articulation between institutions. Dr. Velásquez concluded, “Because we know that health flourishes when we take care of each other, we discover how small gestures can make a difference in our daily lives.” This initiative aims to provide support and create a positive impact on the health and well-being of migrant children and their families.

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