Killings in the streets, According to different studies, the life expectancy of homeless people may be shortened by 20 to 30 years. Mental problems, infections, and addiction are some of the most common illnesses among those who do not live under the same roof. To this must be added the difficulty of maintaining ongoing treatment for those who are not in the system. Aragon TV’s program “Objetivo” will analyze this topic starting this Saturday at 1:25 pm.
Last year, more than 1,100 people used the accommodation or catering services provided to homeless people in cities across Aragon.. Others are not even using shelters or soup kitchens. The situation of people without a fixed address varies: seasonal workers, people in the process of separation, the unemployed, young people with problems with their home network… They live in poor conditions, physical and mental health issues. In addition to this, some of them also face difficulties in accessing medical centres.
One of the company’s users Zaragoza Municipal Shelter It’s been Maria Gonzalez for months. She is 20 years old but has had mental health issues since childhood, she said. “I was a minor and spent three years in a treatment center; I was diagnosed with ADHD when I was seven and I’ve been in mediation ever since. I have a personality disorder, persistent depression. …”, he explained.
There are also How hard and difficult it is to live on the streets. “The less they know about you the better. I had to sleep with one eye open because I had my stuff, my clothes… You can’t sleep on the bench like in your room on, and at 20 years old, anything could happen to me,” he points out.
“Your health doesn’t matter to them”
Hotel Zaragoza They help you find a new job and look after your health., just like they do to other users, because in many cases, they don’t do it themselves. “Their biggest concern is finding a room, or finding a job. If they have physical or psychological discomfort, they don’t express it,” explains Flo Leon, a social worker at the centre.
“Many people here have hepatitis, HIV, liver or kidney problems, They don’t come for treatment“,Because their health is not important to them, they don’t realize it,” he added. But once diagnosed and prescribed treatment, the problem doesn’t end.While they’re here, they’ll take their medicine here; then they’ll go back to the streets, but they won’t take it“, Add to.
Since the outbreak, the shelter has hired a doctor paid for by the council to look after its 77 users. It is that doctor who refers the person in need to the health center or hospital.This has also been done by the Zaragoza Red Cross, which has launched a Find and track healthy routes for homeless people every week.
In addition, it has launched a specific testing program for hepatitis C, a disease that affects 0.5% of the general population but is up to three times more common in this group. When the team detects a positive result, they are referred via a social worker to the hospital for consultation within a few days. After the patient undergoes the examination, You can start treatment under the supervision of the health center pharmacy service and social workerThis is a fundamental part, explains Miguel Ángel Simón, Director of the Department of Gastroenterology at the Clinical Hospital of Zaragoza.
“They have a Afraid of being in hospital Very big. Fidelity to treatment depends on a social worker or other peer, often someone who has been through the same situation and helped them gain the necessary confidence,” he said.
Faced with this reality, Lucía Conde, who is in charge of comprehensive care for homeless people at the Zaragoza Red Cross, believes that it would be interesting and more effective for health teams to reach these people on the streets. Because they themselves are not taking the initiative. “The health system would be more comfortable if it took to the streets. It works well in some cities,” he said.
lack of specific resources
But even if this contact and treatment occurred, the problem did not end, as the Aragonese refuge and sanctuary They do not allow users to stay in bed after breakfasttheir staff are also unable to help care for sick people.
What happens when one of these people has just had surgery or is undergoing chemotherapy?Zaragoza Homeless Entity Coordinator Requirements Short-term, medium-term and long-term rehabilitation beds.
Its president, Ernesto Milan, considers such positions necessary.He gave an example: “Simple appendicitis surgery, you’re out of the hospital in two days. But the rest of the time that person needs care, we don’t know where they can go because None of our centers are prepared or have the medical staff to care for them.“.
Lack of housing doubles risk of dying from cancer
A study by Complutense University estimated that a person could lose around twenty years of life if he lived on the streets. Lack of housing doubles the risk of dying from cancer. 30% of homeless people suffer from serious illnesses, with mortality rates three times higher than the rest of the population.
Additionally, 30% of people who participated in homelessness studies admitted to attempting suicide. “They lost their fighting spirit and will to livebecause they believe they will never find a job or a way out of their situation no matter what,” Flo Leon said from her experience.
Red Cross health teams also found Mental health problems among people living on the streets have increased significantly, exacerbated by lack of medical care. Another view supports the requirement that health systems should look for these patients where they are. Take all necessary measures to ensure that the forgotten do not lack the right to be cared for.