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Health fears at France migrant camp

Thursday, August 06, 2015 - 01:35

A medical charity warns of growing health problems among migrants camping out at Calais hoping to reach Britain. Paul Chapman reports.

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French riot police guard trucks heading to Britain to stop migrants trying to board. By night large groups try to make it onto freight trains to get through the Channel Tunnel. It's a two-hour trek from the makeshift camp in the French port of Calais. This ramshackle collection of shelters is home to more than 3, 000 people. Sanitation is poor, rubbish is building up. Amid the squalor Medecins du Monde, a charity trying to provide healthcare for its migrant population, says medical problems are building up. (SOUNDBITE)(English) ISABELLE BRUAND, MEDECINS DU MONDE REGIONAL CO-ORDINATOR FOR NORD PAS DE CALAIS, SAYING: "We see first wounds related with cross attempts, especially in the last three weeks and we see many problems, disease related, with the health conditions, life conditions in the camp. Scabies, other dermatological problems, eye problems and many respiratory diseases as well." The charity says physical health problems aren't the only ones its workers are up against. (SOUNDBITE)(English) ISABELLE BRUAND, MEDECINS DU MONDE REGIONAL CO-ORDINATOR FOR NORD PAS DE CALAIS, SAYING: "We meet as well many psychological problems. This is a very big concern and this is linked with first the different traumatisms that they have met before, and related with the conditions here, with the stress of the future, with the risks they take to cross or try to cross." Nine migrants have died in recent attempts to reach what they believe would be a better life in Britain. There's been a huge influx of migrants into Europe from the Middle East and Africa as people try to escape poverty and violence at home.

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Health fears at France migrant camp

Thursday, August 06, 2015 - 01:35