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Continuing to Bridge the Gap of Access to Health Information and Services for Syrian Refugees in Turkey with mHealth Application

Continuing to Bridge the Gap of Access to Health Information and Services for Syrian Refugees in Turkey with mHealth Application

The International Cooperation and Development Fund (TaiwanICDF) and Columbia University's Center for Sustainable Development (CSD) cooperated on the "Refugees Act and Communicate for Health (REACH): Using Technology to Increase Health Literacy and Health Care Access for Refugees in Turkey,” and completed the mHealth application prototype in July 2020. In order to promote and expand the impact of the REACH mHealth app, the TaiwanICDF and CSD signed a memorandum of understanding at the end of December 2020 to continue the project for a second year, aiming to assist refugee and disadvantaged youth in Turkey to improve their health literacy and access to health information and services via the REACH mHealth app.

The REACH app prototype content includes seven major themes, such as COVID-19, mental health, physical health, healthy lifestyle, etc., and is available in Arabic, Turkish and English. Additionally, in order to enable users to more conveniently search for local medical institutions in Istanbul, the REACH app is linked to Google Maps and also provides a filtering function that can be classified according to the attributes of the medical institution (such as public and private hospitals) or the medical services provided. The second year of the REACH project will continue to optimize the REACH app and officially provide the Android and iOS versions for free download. The app will be promoted in five cities in Turkey with a large number of Syrian refugees, including Istanbul, Izmir, Ankara, Hatay and Diyarbakir, to help refugee and local disadvantaged youth more easily access health care information.

Subject to the evolving situation of COVID-19 and relevant regulations enforced by Turkey, the TaiwanICDF plans to designate a consultant stationed in Turkey to participate in the project or dispatch a volunteer from Taiwan to Turkey to assist in the project implementation. By strengthening Taiwan’s participation in this project and sharing Taiwan’s experiences, we will deepen collaboration between Taiwan and Turkey, and also reinforce the image of Taiwan as a humanitarian aid provider.

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  • Date:2021/1/26