‘Moria no good’

An impression by Arne Dambre (25) junior physician

‘Moria no good’. That is what I hear, over and over again, when I pass the tents in the famous refugee camp. I can only emphasize that fact.

It’s been two weeks now that I am here, and that a changing team of hardworking people are trying to help the refugees in camp Moria. Lesbos back in the days was known as a great place to go on holiday and because of Sapho, but lately mostly because of the tragic situation with the refugees. The pain caused by a faulty regufee policy is taking a toll on these people and it is unbearable to see. Sadly, we see it on a daily basis in the clinic.

‘Moria no good’. That was the message seen in the media the last couple of weeks, when thousands of refugees tried to suppress the freezing cold in the wet tents. Many of them solely with flip-flops as shoes. Decent shoes, let alone bare feet, were a scarce resource. People came asking for painkillers to relieve the pain from their frozen feet. Painkillers against the cold, how on earth did we get here?

With the melting, also the media attention has disappeared, but the hardships stayed. But morality in the camps is still below zero. Almost daily we nurture the people that in complete desperation try to harm themselves. It is only a matter of time until people will try to commit suicide. The insecurity, the hopelessness and the ever growing frustration leading from all of this is resulting in fights.

Although the job can be extremely tough sometimes, I consider myself lucky to be surrounded and supported by a hardworking group of people, all of which with the same goal in mind. Also, the gratitude of the refugees is one of my main reasons to keep fighting for them and it gives me the strength to carry on, even in difficult times.

Text: Arne Dambre
Photo: Bas Bakkenes