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Healthcare for displaced people in rural areas

According to the UNHCR, in 2022, the world saw a record-high 100 million displaced people, most of whom ended up in rural areas with minimal access to healthcare services. Most likely caused by poor infrastructure, a lack of equipment, and a shortage of qualified health personnel, including specialized healthcare workers. This results in diminished health, increasing impairment, and, in the worst case situations, death.


At the World Economic Forum Annual Meeting 2023, commitments were formed to promote long-term health equality in rural and refugee communities; in the near and medium term, practical cooperative action will be done to provide health care in these places. As a result, 39 CEOs made the Zero Health Gaps Pledge, an executive-level commitment to reduce disparities in access to healthcare.


There are various aspects to the Pledge. Surgeon specialists will identify children needing surgical procedures and make sure their families have insurance in collaboration with community health workers (CHWs). Moreover, the alliance will seek to offer medical devices and equipment tailored to their circumstances, such as by considering severe temperatures and continuous demands for biomedical support. The needs will be based on the situation identified by the surgeons, doctors, CHWs, and nurses delivering services on the ground.


An example of a forged partnership is with a private sector company, Philips Lumify. The distribution of the Philips Lumify portable ultrasonography will improve the clinical team's capacity to identify and manage surgical disorders. This investment will also include digital tools, such as telemedicine solutions, allowing on-the-spot collaboration with professionals to improve healthcare and health outcomes. With this strategy, more patients will have quicker access to high-quality medical treatment and better survival rates.

In addition, the Pledge also includes aspects of climate action, which will ensure that any interventions made to improve the healthcare conditions of displaced communities are effective and mindful to be environmentally sustainable. "Planet" must be developed congruently with "People" for sustainable development.

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