Première Urgence Internationale’s health approach in slums areas

Evolution of collective sensitizations

The goal of Health Mediation is to ensure public access to the rights to health, prevention and care. All this by raising the awareness of public health stakeholders about the public’s obstacles to accessing health.

The Romanian mediators of Première Urgence Internationale have been developing joint outings with the community-based law enforcement staff in “go-to” squats and slums where the Romanian populations live.

Since the second half of 2019, Première Urgence Internationale has set itself the goal of reinforcing its role as an interface. In fact, it is developing joint sensitization activities on sexual and reproductive health, jointly led by Romanian health mediators and professionals in healthcare facilities. This intervention serves a dual purpose:

  • Improve the identification of common law structures (Maternal and Infant Protection, Municipal Health Centers, Family Planning and Education Centers, Social Services, Health Care Access Centers, hospitals), by the population so that sexual and reproductive health issues are better managed;
  • Increase the number of meetings between medico-social professionals and the populations in order to fight reciprocal ideas.

Conduct collective sensitization actions on issues of sexual and reproductive health (knowledge and appropriation of one’s body, contraception, infectious risks related to pregnancy sexuality etc.) with the nursing staff, helps strengthen the care of these populations and to their inscription in the course of care and the follow-up of pregnancy.

Development of an integrated approach: health mediation and psychosocial workshops

WHO defines health as “a state of complete physical, mental and social well-being, and not just an absence of disease or infirmity”.

The Romanian lives in dangerous conditions for their health. Moreover they undergoes a policy of dismantling and repeated expulsion.

This security policy contributes to the stigmatization of this population. According to the National Consultative Commission on Human Rights (CNCDH) it is the minority with the lowest tolerance index.[1] Diffuse discrimination, in turn participates in recurrent racist attacks as was the case in March 2019 in Ile-de-France. [2]

It results from this reality an emphasis of the psychological distress. It can express itself in different ways. For example, through an alteration of feelings of self-confidence, anxiety, depressive episodes, or post-traumatic symptoms. These living conditions also intensify the psychosocial vulnerability of this population. This impacts their social relationships in the community as well as within the couple or the parent-child relationship.

As part of an integrated care, Première Urgence Internationale plans to lead, from 2020, psychosocial workshops in common care structures. The NGO wants to reunite women in benevolent spaces outside slums. Particularly those who are particularly vulnerable because of the difficulties they may face (gender-based violence, maternity, financial dependence, etc.). Thus, these neutral spaces would allow women to work on topics such as self-acceptance, sexual and emotional life, and the mother-child relationship.


Distribution of hygiene kits

Menstrual precariousness affects women living in slums. Première Urgence Internationale undertakes to distribute a hygiene kit to women participating. Overall, this kit will include menstrual protection as well as essential hygiene products for their entire family.

[1] CNCDH : 2017 Report on the fight againt racism, anti-semitism and xenephobia



This pilot project is carried out with the support of Agence Régional de la Santé, of fondation RAJA, of fondation de France, and of fondation Sanofi Espoir.

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