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© Médecins du Monde Japon

Medical and social assistance for disabled homeless people in Tokyo

Facilitated access to health care for Japan's homeless affected by mental or cognitive disabilities

The Air Liquide Foundation is supporting Doctors of the World in Japan. With a community-based approach grounded in medical ethics, Doctors of the World Japan carries out medical assistance missions as part of a long-term strategy involving collaboration with more than 400 volunteers, experts and local partners. Under the "Housing First Tokyo Project", Doctors of the World Japan works to enable the homeless, particularly those with mental disabilities, be reintegrated in mainstream society by making it easier for them to access health care and social services.

The status of disabled homeless people in Japan

According to a study conducted by a partner organization of Doctors of the World Japan for the project in 2008, 60% of the Japanese homeless population is suffering from mental problems (depression, schizophrenia, etc.) or cognitive impairment. Because of the complexity of the formalities, most homeless people do not benefit from the various forms of assistance provided by the government. As a result, the homeless population is marginalized and it is very difficult, if not impossible, for them to change their situation without help, especially for those suffering from mental or cognitive disabilities.

Facilitated access to health care and social services

On the medical front, the association organizes medical appointments for the homeless twice a month in the Ikebukuro neighborhood of Tokyo. These appointments include physical exams performed by volunteer general practitioners and mental health evaluations by psychiatrists who are also volunteers.

In addition to medical services, other activities are carried out with former homeless who are participating in the "Housing First Tokyo Project" program, including sports, art workshops, handiwork and bread baking for distribution to people living on the street.

How the Air Liquide Foundation is participating

The foundation is helping to finance the equipment needed for successful project implementation: medical equipment and supplies for appointments and the materials needed for activities.

PROJECT IDENTITY

  • Project implementer:: Doctors of the World Japan
  • Location: Tokyo, Japon
  • Year of support:: 2018
  • Air Liquide sponsor:: Shohei Kinoshita, Sales and Marketing Department, Medical Gases, Air Liquide Japan