Health Tips for Humanitarian Workers in Refugee Camps

Health and nutrition is a thorn in the flesh in refugee camps. The location-at at the border towns- limits access to necessary facilities.

Survival tactics are crucial in such a setup. Your conscious can’t allow you to have the best when you have refugees who are in dire need of even 10 percent of what you consume.

Most humanitarian workers, including the refugees, rely on donations and external support. Still, the swelling number of refugees day by day makes it impossible to have a surplus if not enough.

Health outbreaks are a common scenario in such places; at times, your immune system becomes your savior.

In some cases, medical supplies are rare due to congestion; a small ailment can be a disaster within the pandemic.

Therefore once you get that letter indicating all your roles in your new assignment, arm yourself with the following health tips to stay safe.

  1. Get all appropriate vaccines.

Naturally, the body develops resistance to disease-causing organisms. Vaccines comprise the standard form of the disease that isn’t detrimental to trigger the body to produce antibodies that become resistant.

When attacked by the same illness, you have a strong defence to prevent an infection. The location of different camps dictates the kind of vaccines.

In Kakuma camp, in Kenya, Africa is a malaria-prone zone; you need to take preventing drugs in areas where there is no vaccine.

The current Covid- 19 pandemics that hit the world is a disaster-in-waiting at the refugee camps; in that case, you need anti-malaria as your protective gear.

  1. Have surplus medication

Do you have underlying conditions? Are you on medications of any kind? Once you get such an assignment, talk to your doctor to have surplus medicines at your disposal.

Although, you only take them on doctor’s prescription, having them helps you sort a medical emergency.

Fatigue and common cols are common ailments when in such environments. Why not have such drugs on standby but do this under doctor’s advice to prevent resistance and overdose.

When allergic or have underlying conditions, it’s essential to seek proper medical advice.

Invest in supplements

Some privileges are luxuries in the humanitarian aid workplaces. Having a balanced meal at will may be a dream; therefore, you should have dietary supplements to ensure your body gets the right nutrients.

The lifestyle changes may come with weight gain, its common practice to overindulge to compensate for the missing minerals and amino acids.

For your weight loss goals without compromising on the nutritional component, go for keto diets. 

To know more about them do thorough research as you also consult your nutritionist to give you the right dosage based on your weight goals.

There are many on the shelves; you need to go for one within your budget since its priced depending on its size.

  1. Equip yourself with first-aid skills

Access to a health facility within this vicinity is next to impossible. The refugees have more needs than you; you tend to prioritize some cases are do-or-die.

Having first aid skills is essential not only for you but also for the benefit of the refugees. You use the skills to solve simple medical challenges before you get access to a health facility.

Why have first aid skills?

  • Saves lives
  • Establishes a friendly work environment
  • Safeguards the first aid kits
  • Supports the safety of employees and refugees
  • Promotes team building within the camp
  1. Take care of your environment

How safe is your environment? Some of the minor ailments are preventable rather than cured.

If you are in a malaria-prone zone, keeping bushes around you is a breeding ground for mosquitoes.

You will treat malaria but have no permanent cure. Currently, masks are a must-have protective gear.

Refugees are coming from all over, how well do you know their Covid- 19 status? Where possible, fumigate the environment as a protective measure.

Have sanitizer to add a layer of protection. Other ways include

  • Practice proper waste disposal
  • Go for environmentally-friendly products
  • Conserve water through water harvesting
  • Use clean energy
  • Save energy
  1. Eat healthy and balanced meals.

Your overall health is all about your diet. What you consume determines your health status. Don’t eat for the sake of eating but eat to have maximum nutrients from the meal.

It’s possible to snack and engage in healthy eating while out in the field since that is readily available.

Foods to avoid

  • Soft and sugary drinks
  • Foods with a lot of sugar
  • Unhealthy snacks
  • Sweetened juices
  • Grilled and fried foods
  • Pastries
  • Fries
  • Pizza

Which foods can I eat when these are the available options?

Do you think they are available since you haven’t thought wider of other options within your vicinity?

Who said you should snack in the first place? Instead, go for healthy foods to quench your craving for unhealthy meals.

Here are some options

  • Whole meals
  • Fruits
  • Vegetables
  • Freshwater
  • Fresh juices
  • Low-calorie snacks

What you consume should commensurate with your daily activities. When there is a misbalance, it leads to unhealthy weight gain.

  1. Exercise and practice lifestyle health habits

As you look at your diet, your lifestyle habits also play a crucial role in maintaining a high level of health standards. As you focus on your assignment, what do you do after a hard day’s work? Here are a few tips to consider

  • Have quality sleep
  • Eat plenty of water
  • Practice meditation for emotional stability

Avoid 

  • cigarettes and excess drinking of alcohol
  • Always exercise and break to allow the body to rejuvenate
  • Plan your life
  • Engage in community service like spiritual activities

Be positive in lifeThe deplorable and pity state of the refugees shouldn’t negatively influence your way of life.

Your health is paramount to have the energy to help them. Develop healthy habits for emotional, physical and spiritual growth.

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