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UNMC Students Help Refugees

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 Maureen Wurtz

OMAHA (KPTM)- Nearly 200 Refugees came out to a free health clinic Saturday.

The clinic was staffed by over 40 UNMC students, and was a way to help refugees take preventative steps in their health care.

 It was a clinic designed to bridge the gap between refugees and health care, and was run by the student organization, "Bridge to Care."

The clinic provided free health services, including blood pressure, dental, and vision screenings.

"I've seen the difference that "Bridge to Care" can make within the refugee community, and it keeps us all going," said Hong Bui, a UNMC student. 

Officials said Omaha currently has almost 20 thousand refugees, and they speak dozens of different languages.  Sometimes, that doesn't translate into receiving good health care.

"When refugee's come from the camps, there are many things that they contend with that we just don't have any idea," said Pam Franks, an advocate for refugees.

Organizers said these opportunities are crucial, and help refugee's feel welcome in Nebraska. "It'd be tremendously difficult coming over here, not knowing the language, not knowing the culture, not knowing anybody," said Andrew Lemke, another UNMC student. "Coming over here knowing there is health care, there are people that care about them."

This was the second year that the clinic was held.  UNMC students have helped over 1,000 refugees.  They hope that number keeps growing because the demand for the services still continues.

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