After having a good start of the week, with blue skies and sun, the weather started changing. A large storm woke everyone up yesterday night: the amount of rain was immense and lightning and thunder made it even more dramatic. One of our common translators had the water level rise to above the pallet of his tent, so a part of his belongings are soaked. Even though the fact very many refugees have wet clothes, the upcoming weather will possibly be even more of a problem. It will start freezing in Samos, with a wind chill factor of -9 degrees Celcius. It is difficult for BRF to prepare for the cold, with the limited sources available. There are a couple of (emergency) warmth blankets available, tea and hot water (bottles) will be distributed throughout the evening/night, and a while ago some heaters were installed next to the medical container.
In the medical container, the team providing health care (and also the ones providing the educational program and milk/tea/diaper service) now consists of a great mix of backgrounds and experiences. Working together on only a couple of square metres makes it very necessary to work as a team, be flexible and helpful. Also the translators are of great value of the service for patients. ‘Simple’ colds and headaches can be helped by using hands and feet to communicate, but more difficult medical problems require a proper communication. Some refugees believe that the arrival in Europe, immediately implies receiving better health care than in their home country – not realising that at the camp, the possibilities are still limited. Luckily, BRF can refer patients to Medin for a referral to the local hospital. The waiting time however can sometimes add up to a couple of months for the non acute problems. The BRF medical team now consists of two Dutch doctors, a Belgian-Italian nurse and a arabic-speaking medical student from the USA. Having such an enthousiastic team creates great energy to face the often chaotic, demanding and intense evenings at the medical container!
The video below is recorded by Frederieke van Dongen and will show you the terrible weather in Samos.
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Tekst: Lisanne de Graaff – Arts op Samos
Video: Frederieke van Dongen – Coördinator op Samos