EL PASO, Texas (Border Report) — A pediatrician from the World Organization for Peace Mexico recently discovered a case of chickenpox in one of the migrant tent cities near the U.S.-Mexico border in Juarez.
Healthcare workers from the organization treated 40 children for upper respiratory problems — which is common during the winter months — at the tent camp at Parque El Chamizal.
According to El Diario de Juarez newspaper, city health officials and the Red Cross have conducted medical visits to the camps in the past, but the children had not been evaluated by a specialist.
The newspaper reported that the doctor who detected the child with chickenpox provided the treatment free of charge to help prevent it from spreading.
The city’s health department also vowed to reinforce medical attention to the camps to keep the chickenpox from spreading to the other children.
Migrant tent camps have been growing in size at several border crossings in Juarez, and many of the new people are Mexicans fleeing violence in the central part of their country.
More than 55,000 migrants have been sent to Mexico under the Migrant Protection Protocol program, which sends asylum seekers to wait out their claims in Mexican border cities.
In Juarez, where around 13,000 migrants have been sent to wait out their asylum claims and where 3,000 Mexican citizens are camped out in public places fleeing drug violence, a drug cartel recently unleashed a wave of violence that left 20 people dead and 25 vehicles burning in the space of five days.
Dr. Alejandro Díaz Villalobos, who led the delegation, told El Diario de Juarez that his mission is to manage the support for migrants who are living outdoors.
“If they are not cared for in a timely manner, children and older adults can be affected by lung diseases that can vary from flu to cases of pneumonia or tuberculosis, derived from the ravages of the climate and the lack of decent conditions,” Diaz Villalobos told the El Diario de Juarez.