Medical File for Migrant Children

Adapt reception and care of young patients who are asylum-seekers or refugees by providing a medical file in their language, to promote communication with support staff


The HUG pediatric migrant health center sees more than a hundred children (between the ages of 0 and 13) each month, most of whom are asylum-seekers or refugees. They receive a medical evaluation and then are seen regularly for follow-ups. This primary care visit generally functions through interpreters who facilitate communication between parents and healthcare providers. Later, the language barrier is a limitation at appointments with pediatricians in their towns. Parents are often helpless against their child’s illness in a country whose culture they have yet to master. They don’t always understand safety precautions and are unfamiliar with Swiss medical practices and the treatments and medications prescribed to their child. The number of children to treat is going to continue to increase with the wave of new migrants.



The proposal is to give children and their families a personalized medical file to inform them in their language about the illness, the treatment, and the procedure to follow. This file will decrease the risks faced by the child by providing reminders of safety instructions to follow in the event of fever or clinical symptoms. It contains pages where the parents can find the names and contact information for the providers assigned to their child, safety precautions (for example, about sudden infant death syndrome, vitamin D, etc.), situations when they should contact emergency services, useful phone numbers, a vaccination booklet, etc. The files are available in 16 languages.

During the 2017 Quality Day, the project received an award in the category "Participation of the patient care"


project manager

Professor Klara Posfay-Barbe and Dr. Noémie Wagner, Children and Adolescents Department, General Pediatrics Division, Geneva University Hospitals