Assisted Voluntary Returns from countries of Western Europe to variety of country of origin

As of 2005 IOM Belgrade Medical provides fitness to travel assistance including medical escorts to this IOM global program. Moderate to severe medical, mental and/or psychosocial conditions or disabilities of returning migrants if not properly managed can impair their return and successful reintegration to their society.  Beside returnees with psychiatric disorders and associated specific problems, there is also a significant number of returning migrants suffering from severe physical medical conditions. For returnees with pre-existing health condition, aggravating factors such as (1) their health condition at the onset of the travel; (2) the effects of the journey as determined by the mode of transportation, duration of travel, and associated stressor during the journey; and (3) access to health services while in transit and at the final destination have to be addressed.

Voluntary repatriation to Croatia and Bosnia and Herzegovina (Volrep) 1996 – 2000.  Volrep was designed to facilitate return of the refugee population to their pre-war places of residence. Under the cooperative agreement with UNHCR, IOM was providing on-site medical evaluation, health assessment to travel and medical escorts of patients with severe medical conditions and for the group movements. On-site examinations were provided throughout Serbia to approximately 1.000 individuals with reported medical conditions while medical escorts were provided to approximately 500 most vulnerable individuals.

Medical Evacuation Program – 1992 -1994, Medical Evacuation Program was providing medical treatment abroad for the war-wounded patients that could not be treated locally. Recipient countries (Denmark, Sweden, Malta, Belgium and others) were providing pro-bono treatment and accommodation for the duration of stay, while IOM was presenting the cases to them and was in charge of travel arrangements. IOM Belgrade Medical Team was contacting hospitals that were referring patients all over Serbia and parts of Bosnia for treatment abroad, preparing medical documentation for presentation to the recipient countries and, once when the treatment was approved, assisted in obtaining necessary travel documents and provided medical escorts since most of the patients were severely wounded and needed special care. Treatment was funded by recipient countries.

HIV/AIDS Prevention and care among migrants in the Balkans, 2000-2001, IOM Italy with project partner agencies, LILA, UNAIDS, IOM Serbia. Funded by Directorate General for Development Cooperation, Italy. Program was designed to increase the capacity and capability of the region, reduce vulnerability of mobile group and control transmission of HIV and sexually transmitted disease. In cooperation with IOM Belgrade, program was implemented in Nis with the goal of empowerment and advocacy of local NGOs, increasing civilian awareness and response capacity to face prevention and care.


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