Venezuelans are the largest group of refugees in Latin America, becoming part of the biggest migration crisis in the history of the continent. More than six million of them remained in South America, heading mainly to Colombia, Peru and Chile, often residing in large cities and metropolises, giving the opportunity to earn money and continue education. The situation is similar in Bogota - it is in the largest city of Colombia that every fifth Venezuelan from the group of almost 2.5 million refugees in the country lives. It is for them that we have created a program to improve access to medical care and support for pregnant women. Mobile clinics, which reached the inhabitants of the poorest parts of Bogota, enjoyed the greatest interest of patients. Over the past six months, 928 patients benefited from follow-up visits, of which 878 were women with refugee experience. The medical staff conducted prenatal consultations, performed rapid tests for sexually transmitted diseases, ultrasound, urine tests and morphology. The clinics also provided a space for educational activities addressing patient rights issues, treatment options available in Colombia, and responding to gender-based violence.
For professionals dealing with medical assistance and social support for refugees from Venezuela, we have prepared a three-day training forum on caring for pregnant women and preparing them for safe childbirth. Thanks to the exchange of knowledge and experience, they will be able to continue their relief activities in Bogotá. Particularly important for us was the participation of people who have experienced refugee themselves and know what problems the patients face, who often told us about the misunderstanding and discrimination they encountered in offices and hospitals. These meetings were attended by 279 people who will now share what they learned in their communities as local leaders. In addition, as part of the Polonia 4 Neighbors event, organized in cooperation with the Embassy of the Republic of Poland in Bogota, we organized one-day workshops and consultations, which were attended by over 500 pregnant women, adolescents and children, mostly from Venezuela.
The project was funded by Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) GmbH on behalf of the Federal Republic of Germany and carried out in cooperation with Humanity and Inclusion Colombia