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Year : 2004  |  Volume : 2  |  Issue : 3  |  Page : 181-192

A Protocol for Psychological Intervention in Refugee Crisis: early experience in Rwandan Refugee Camps

1 psychiatrist, has been an advisor and is a trainer for MSF-Holland. He works at the Academic Medical Center in Amsterdam
2 medical anthropologist, has been a health advisor for MSFHolland. Currently he is the director of HealthNet International in Amsterdam
3 physician for the EPSoCare program in Tanzania. Currently he is a psychiatrist, working at Parnassia psychomedical center in The Hague

Correspondence Address:
Willem F Scholte
University of Amsterdam; Academic Medical Center; Dept. of Psychiatry; Tafelbergweg 25; 1105 BC Amsterdam; The Netherlands

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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

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This paper describes the conceptual framework and application of a working model (‘EPSoCare’) for psychosocial intervention for refugees living in camps in low income countries. The intervention’s main objective is social re-integration of individuals with psychosocial problems. The model was applied in pilot programmes in camps with survivors of the 1994 genocide in Rwanda. The interventions aimed to cover 360.000 refugees in camps in Tanzania, and 230.000 in a camp in Zaire. The pilot programmes were heavily impacted by the prevalent insecurity in the camps and the atmosphere of mistrust resulting from it, as well as by the insufficiency of social services. The development of psycho-education material took more time than expected. Medical staff was not easily ready to be trained in psychosocial concepts. The course of the programmes showed the need for protocols with a well-defined target group and support offer, and a clear-cut working plan.

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