Slovenia has become a vital transit point for refugees following the fencing off of the Austrian border with Croatia on October 2015. WAHA International has decided to follow the refugees along this path by establishing its presence at two key areas – on the Slovenian-Croatian border in Dobova and the Slovenia-Austria border in Šentilj.
Since November, WAHA International, along with its partner organization, Institute Circle, under the MoU with Ministry of Health of Slovenia, has established a series of fixed and semi-fixed clinics along the refugee route in Slovenia. A unique addition in Slovenia was the establishment of safe place containers in Dobova-Livarna and Dobova. A safe place is defined as a weather-proof location where mothers can breast feed their children in privacy, change diapers, where children can play and socially connect with other minors ages 7 and down, where qualified pediatric nurses can provide primary health care for infants and as a location of a sterilizer for baby paraphernalia and medical supplies.
The places were separated into two sections – the first was dedicated to breast-feeding mothers and their children, and for the provision of primary care to infants by pediatric nurses. The other section provides an opportunity for other children to engage in play time in a safe, warm area. Both Dobova-Livarna and Dobova train station safe places had qualified medical staff ready to deputize the pediatric nurses as needed. Both safe places were operational 24/7.