Doctors Without Borders (Médecins Sans Frontières -MSF) has provided care to victims of armed conflict for over forty years, and now also does so in “Other Situations of Violence”. In Mexico, the organization has set up a project for health care of trans-migrants, mostly from the Northern Triangle of Central America, who have frequently been direct or indirect victims of threats, physical violence and ill-treatment by state or non-state armed actors. MSF seeks to develop medical humanitarian strategies for the care of the trans-migrant population in high vulnerability contexts.
The statistical analysis of MSF’s medical records, based on an annual cross-section (2015-2016), together with a random victimization survey (encuesta aleatoria sobre victimización, VAT 2015), allowed us to confirm the medical humanitarian impacts of various forms of violence on trans-migrants’ physical and mental health.
Through the applied survey, MSF confirmed a correlation between violence suffered in the country of origin and forced migration or displacement: 54% of the surveyed population decided to abandon their place of residence due to the threats they have received. In addition, 68% of the surveyed population reported having been a victim of at least one form of violence while in transit through Mexico. Moreover, medical records confirm that 83.8% of the cases under the care of MSF were related to events of violence. Humanitarian and health impacts are undeniable. As far as psychological symptomatology detected and dealt with is concerned: 46% of the clients showed anxiety-related symptoms, 27.9% showed depression-related symptoms and 10.1% showed PTSD-related symptoms. 66.9% of the clients informed an improvement towards the end of the mental health intervention.
Funding & No Conflicts Declaration
This research study has been funded by MSF’s own funds (private donors). None of the authors have any conflicts of interest to report.