Boat Refugee Foundation has been active on Lesbos with a medical team since September 2015 and since February 2016 on Samos. This team consists of doctors and nurses. We offer medical assistance in transit camps. In light of the dramatic situations involving multiple resuscitations, we have perfected and professionalised the urgent medical care. This is done in close co-operation with several other stable and reliable parties. Our team has proven to be of considerable value in co-ordinating emergency situations.
The most common medical issues with adults and children are: hypothermia, dehydration, shock, injuries on feet and legs, diabetes, skin infections and lung problems.
We co-operate with UNHCR, Doctors without Borders and Doctors of the World. We align our plans with them and seek co-operation wherever possible.
A group of approximately 200 vulnerable refugees who arrived on Lesbos before the EU/Turkey deal stay in Caritas Hotel/ Silver Bay. These refugees include families, the ill, the disabled and the elderly. Each afternoon, the medical team provides medical help and refers to hospitals/specialists where needed. Every evening and night is the medical team present in Camp Moria to provide the needed (emergency) aid.
The problems vary from acute till semi-acute. Due to the EU/Turkey deal, the refugees are staying a lot longer in the camps on Lesbos. As a consequence, our work involves more often chronic care and/or treatment.
The medical team on Samos works in the hotspot. A hotspot is an official camp in which refugees are registered and are obliged to stay. The hotspot has limited provision and the circumstances are poor. A lot of refugees are packed in the overcrowded camp without any prospect.
The team works in a basic, self-contained clinic located in the camp.There is close cooperation with the other present medical teams, however, there are no other medical teams present in the camp during our shifts. The team is faced with a great variety of problems. Because the refugees also stay longer in camps on Samos, the care has changed from (mostly) acute to semi-acute and chronic care. On occasion, a more emergent case is identified, in which case the patient is transported to the Samos hospital for further evaluation. Additional to the offering of medical help, the medical team has, together with the field team, a signalling function (identify protection cases and cases that require referral to the hospital or a psychologist).