Tunis, 3 August 2015 - Thanks to the commitment of Tunisian authorities, refugees and asylum seekers have free access to basic health services in Tunisia. To support further Tunisian health services, UNHCR and its partner the Tunisian Red Crescent donated medicine and equipment to the Ministry of Health, to be distributed to regional hospitals in Southern Tunisia.
Ensuring that refugees and asylum seekers have access to health care is a key aspect of UNHCR's work. UNHCR supports host countries whenever possible to ensure that all refugees can access quality public health services, focusing in particular on the most vulnerable persons.
The Director General of Health, Dr. Karim Aoun and the Head of emergency health unit, Dr. Naoufel Somrani, officially received this equipment on 30 July 2015 in presence of the UNHCR Representative, Mr. Mazin Abu Shanab and Dr. Talbi representing the Tunisian Red Crescent.
This donation, worth a total of 50,000 Tunisian dinars, includes medical supplies for urology, surgical instruments, disinfection tools and a stock of medicines; they will be distributed to regional hospitals in Tataouine and Ben Guerdane.
It aims at reinforcing existing capacities, to best receive refugees and asylum seekers currently in Tunisia but also to benefit the Tunisian host communities. It is also a way to build response capacities to face large-scale influxes of refugees, as part of the preparedness efforts conducted since the spring 2014, in cooperation with local authorities, UN agencies and partners.
UNHCR appreciates the excellent cooperation with the Ministry of Health and the services provided to refugees.