In March 2020, we expanded our projects with migrants and refugees to start assisting with the COVID-19 response in Greece. In the migrant hotspots of Samos and Lesbos islands, we are providing health information to camp residents and have all procedures in place to support referrals of patients with symptoms of COVID-19 to hospitals.
We have adapted our facilities and procedures to ensure the safety of our patients and staff. Operations in the camps are being scaled up and we are starting to recruit additional medical, paramedical and support staff.
An emergency plan for Moria refugee camp on Lesbos island is ready in case we need to respond to a spread of the disease there.
Discussions are underway with the Ministry of Health to see how we can coordinate with them and offer more support.
Since the so-called EU-Turkey deal in March 2016, migrants and refugees previously in transit through the Greek islands have been trapped there for an indeterminate time in overcrowded, unsafe and unhygienic conditions, without access to basic services, adequate shelter or information on their legal status.
We provide medical and mental healthcare to migrants on the Greek islands of Lesbos and Samos as well as in Athens. Our activities include vaccinating migrant children against common childhood diseases, providing sexual and reproductive healthcare, treating chronic diseases and providing care for victims of torture and sexual violence.
Our teams in Lesbos have reported overwhelming numbers of people suffering from serious mental health conditions and we have made repeated calls for vulnerable people to be evacuated and policies of containment to be replaced by sustainable, humane solutions.
Voices from the field
I am overwhelmed by the severity of each referral that arrives in my inbox…Dr Liz Clark, working in Moria, on the Greek island of Lesbos
Using torture survival skills to cope during a pandemic
MSF steps up COVID-19 response in Europe
Evacuation of squalid Greek camps more urgent than ever over COVID-19 fears
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