On May 1, Boat Refugee Foundation started a medical mission in Greek refugee camp Moria. Over 120 people came to the medical clinic with health complaints on the first day.
Situation worsens every day
Camp Moria, located on Lesbos, has been overcrowded since 2015. The camp was initially set up for around 2500 refugees, whereas the current number of inhabitants is approaching 7000. A daily average of 53 people arrive in the camp. There is a dire lack of sufficient facilities and health care.
“We notice the situation getting worse every day” tells Fons Strijbosch, medical coordinator for Boat Refugee Foundation. He has been on Lesvos for several months to prepare the medical mission.
No access to health care
The various aid organizations and authorities working in the camp meet nearly every day to discuss the situation. The organizations that are currently already offering health care in the camp work at full capacity. Despite that, there are hundreds of patients on a daily basis who do not have direct access to health care. With the dedicated help of volunteer doctors and nurses, Boat Refugee Foundation will from 1 May ensure health care during evening hours.
Safety for the team is our first priority
“We know the camp through and through because of our previous medical mission and our current psychosocial support mission”, says director Annerieke Berg. Tensions in the camp may rise quickly. It is incredibly important for all aid organizations to ensure well-functioning procedures and safety protocols are in place. Berg tells: “We will always do what we can, but the safety of our team is at all times our first priority.” The first medical shift ran smoothly. Over 120 people presented themselves at the cabin with health complaints. Around 100 patients were seen by the medics during the shift.
For more information about this article, please contact Margriet van der Woerd, press officer Boat Refugee Foundation: firstname.lastname@example.org
Photo: Willem Lemmens