Medical mission – Work conditions

Boat Refugee Foundation remains active in refugee camp Lesbos

Doctors without Borders is leaving refugee camp Moria on Lesbos, as the NOS reported today. UNHCR also limits its co-operation. For now, Boat Refugee Foundation will remain active on the medical post in the camp.
Moria has changed into a high securition detention center, a prison. We are horrified by this, but the fact that medical assistance is still needed has not been changed by this. We do not want to abandon the refugees at a time when they need us the most.

Our doctors are now working under police supervision. That constrains us and irks us and does not feel comfortable, but withdrawing from the camp would mean that the refugees will no longer receive medical attention. This would send a clear signal, but one of which the refugees would be the biggest victims.

For now we consider it our duty to provide medical care to people in need. Even if this means we have to work behind high prison fences. It is a complicated moral consideration. And we understand and respect the decisions of other organisations such as UNHCR and Doctors without Borders. We also decline to be part of an inhumane policy. At the same time, we want to put the needs of refugees above anything else.

Photo: Marjan van der Meer