- Primary care in the Calais Jungle
I had a terrible feeling of déjà vu when seeing the pictures in ‘Primary care in the Calais Jungle’. I now work in Bahrain, a wealthy and developed Gulf nation. Travelling recently in the Middle East I have had the sad privilege of standing on a hillside in Jordan overlooking a seemingly endless refugee camp that appeared to be much better set up than the Calais Jungle. Recently I took some students to Lesotho, a desperately poor African nation, via South Africa. The Calais Jungle resembles the chaos I witnessed in the South African and Lesotho townships far more than it does the Jordan refugee camp.
Jordan is not a wealthy nation, and it has experienced a greater than a 10% unplanned population increase from refugees during the current Middle Eastern conflict. Yet it seems that it has much greater political will to help refugees than does the West. And this is despite the West, very much including the UK, being a major contributor to the chaos that exists in so many parts of the Middle East today. We seem to have forgotten even the basic shopkeeper’s maxim: ‘Breakages must be paid for’. It would be good to feel that we might go a little beyond that and press the UK government to show compassion also. If Jordan can do it, why can’t we?Competing Interests: None declared.