July 19, 2016 - 11:35 AM
THOMPSON-OKANAGAN - The Interior Health Authority has developed a culturally-sensitive health care protocol to deal with Syrian refugees and plans to make it the standard for all refugees, immigrants and temporary foreign workers.
The protocol was developed beginning last fall in response to the iminent arrival of as many as 400 Syrian refugees, the health authority announced in a media release.
It took a massive collaboration at all levels of the health care system and recruitment of a range of health care providers and specialists willing to work with the refugees under the Interim Federal Health program, the health authority says.
Refugee health teams were set up at primary health care centres in Kelowna, Kamloops and Vernon, which performed primary screening and immunization as well treatment of urgent health care needs.
The final number of refugees who settled in within the health authority was 135, the release says, with Kelowna taking in 68 between November 4, 2015 and April 24, 2016.
Kamloops welcomed 22 refugees, Vernon took in seven and Penticton resettled five with the rest spread out throughout towns in the Okanagan and Shuswap areas.
Of those, 47 were government sponsored and 88 were were privately sponsored.
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