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MSF in France, 2002
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Assisting the young and marginalized
Access to health care remains a central issue for MSF's work in France. Current programs in Paris, Lille and Marseilles provide medical care and social support for underprivileged young people, immigrants and drug addicts.
In Paris and Lille, MSF assists young people living in marginalized communities or on the street. MSF refers patients who are most at risk to their refuges in Lille and at Clausmatt in Ribeauvillé, Alsace.
In l'Etang de Berre, on the outskirts of Marseilles, MSF provides medical care and social protection to children and adolescents from immigrant families living in near isolation far from the city center, without transport facilities or social structures. To better meet their needs, MSF is developing a telephone interpreting service to ensure accurate communication of technical information between non- French speakers and medical and social workers.
In September 2001, MSF launched an orientation program in Marseilles to raise foreigners' awareness of their entitlements to health care and social rights.
MSF's work with drug addicts continues in several districts of Paris. Those who seek treatment receive not only medical and social care, but are provided with sterile injection materials in a "steribox." These are also on sale in pharmacies and in vending machines.
MSF continues to be active on a wide range of legal issues, from the French government's methods of dealing with asylum applications to a push for new European-wide legislation on the rights of sick people arriving in Europe from abroad.
MSF has run programs in France since 1986.