Background: In 2015 over one million people arrived in Europe by sea, mostly originating from Syria. In the same year 3771 people went missing or died attempting to reach safety in Europe. In 2016 people continue to make the hazardous journey across the sea and at the beginning of February 67,072 people made it across, while 357 were reported dead or missing.
Objectives: To build collections of healthcare evidence to provide those addressing the health of refugees with some guidance. The collections of evidence are divided between an Evidence Aid resource housed on www.evidenceaid.org, and a Cochrane Evidence Aid Special Collection, housed on www.cochranelibrary.com.
Methods: Both collections focus on some of the most relevant medical conditions as perceived by experts involved in guideline development or on the frontline, directly addressing the healthcare needs of refugees and asylum seekers. In the first instance, the work-group (which included Kevin Pottie, Leo Ho (MSF), Evidence Aid and Cochrane) decided to address the following priority conditions (this may be expanded at a later date): common mental health disorders (including PTSD and depression); vaccine preventable diseases; skin conditions (including impetigo, scabies and cellulitis); tuberculosis; sexual and physical violence.
Results: The collection, ‘The health of refugees and asylum seekers in Europe’ was published 12 February 2016. It hosts curated resources from the Cochrane Library and other research outputs, categorized into guidelines; systematic reviews; articles; and other information. The Cochrane Library special collection, ‘Health of refugees and asylum seekers in Europe’ was published 15 April 2016.
Conclusions: Since publication, the refugee health collection on evidenceaid.org has received almost 600 pageviews, ranking it third amongst most viewed pages, after the homepage and the resources tab, for that period. On average, users have been spending 2:30 minutes on the page, suggesting the content is commanding attention. We will continue to encourage an evidence-based response to this crisis, and will report on usage of both collections at the Colloquium in Seoul.