Project details / Refugee Care[e]Education in the Netherlands

About this project

This project is a reaction to devastating situations in countries such as Syria and Eritrea that have caused many people to flee their country of origin to a safer place such as the Netherlands. These immigrants experience health risks both from their country of origin and during their voyage to the Netherlands. Health facilities are under strain and Dutch healthcare professionals have to deal with a population with health problems that are not common in their daily practice. To ensure quality care by primary healthcare workers, in depth knowledge of the health risks experienced by refugees and culturally sensitive communication skills are very important. Health[e]Foundation has developed the e-learning course: Refugee Care[e]Education.

The project consists of training programs that last for three months. On the start date of a training program, the participants receive instructions and a group code to register themselves for their personal account, as well as information about the course. With the personal account, they can log in to the platform and access the course. The participants have three months to finish the eight e-learning modules as well as the pre- and post-tests. Every three weeks, participants receive an e-mail to motivate them to work on the modules and inform them about the project. During the self-study period, participants were encouraged to interact with peers and to seek e-tutor support via their personalized e-learning account or email. The self-study period was followed by an evening workshop which closed the training program. During the workshop, in-depth guest lectures took place on several topics covered during the course and clinical cases were discussed. The focus of the workshop was to discuss challenges which healthcare workers encounter in their daily practice and to acquaint them with local solutions and referral options. During the workshop, the training program was evaluated using an interactive discussion tool. The program was accredited with 11 credits for doctors by ABAN and by LV POH-GGZ, V&VN, NVvPO for physician assistants (POHs).

Who is this project for

General practitioners, physician assistants (POHs) and other interested healthcare providers in the Netherlands.

Aim of the project

This accredited refresher training for Dutch healthcare providers enables them to deliver appropriate quality care to refugees who have settled in the Netherlands. By giving more background information about the refugees and specific advice on how to recognize common health problems, treat, refer and provide assistance, serious health problems can be prevented. In addition, the focus on culturally sensitive care and communication increases the connection with the newcomers.

In 2017, a pilot project took place; this was followed by two group training programs in Amsterdam and The Hague in 2018. In total, 94 healthcare providers have been reached by this project in 2017-2018. In 2019 a group of 22 participants are following the course in Utrecht.

Project activities

  • E-learning course: Refugee Care[e]Education, including specific modules on local policies, solutions and referral option for the cities Amsterdam and The Hague.
  • Closing workshop

Organization and partners

The content of the course was developed in close collaboration with Pharos, Arq, GGD Amsterdam, Radboud University and GGD-GHOR. For the recruitment and selection of the participants, we received assistance from funds for disadvantaged neighborhoods in Amsterdam, The Hague, Utrecht and Elaa.

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Care of refugees




2017 - (ongoing)

Target group

Primary healthcare workers

Course / service

Refugee Care[e]Education course

Learning method

Blended group learning

Financed by

Dioraphte, Innovation Fund, Municipality of Amsterdam, Dr. C.J. Vaillantfonds

Project Manager Annemijn Blok-Versteeg