Winter is over now and the refugees are slowly recovering from the cold, the wind and the rain. The last few months were extremely hard for them ; the thin covers of their tents could not provide the protection or shelter they needed from the cruel weather conditions.
Now spring has finally arrived the MedEquali team is full of new ideas for the future. If passing by the clinic you will see it bustling as we now have the capacity to see up to 120 patients every day. This is only possible because of our amazing team (doctors, nurses, receptionists and translators). Irrespectively of the hectic day each and every one of them take the time to make all patients feel safe and secure.
However, despite all our hard work and the best intentions we are really worried by the amount of people still suffering from psychological problems.
“I need help. Please. I need to see a psychologist.” are words that can be heard every day in the clinic. Especially refugees who are victims of torture or have suffered from what we call “sexual gender based violence.” This includes trauma such as rape, sexual harassment and fear due to lack or safety or vulnerability.
Whilst the refugees continue to live in the unstable conditions of the camp the prognosis for overcoming this trauma is poor. And unfortunately our ability to help is also very limited, referrals take up to three months before people can get professional help.
Nevertheless, we are honoured that our clinic is considered a safe haven. Not only do people feel like they can trust us with their most intimate and frightening stories, they feel they are being not only listened to but also understood.
Meanwhile the general situation in Samos hasn’t changed at all. With over 1000 new arrivals this year, the camp with an originally capacity for 650 people shelters now nearly 5000 refugees. Due to these developments more and more people move to the so-called “Jungle.” This is the forest next to the camp, where they are even less protected and have even less resources. In surroundings like this, diseases spread fast. There is no surprise we see patients covered in inspect bites, viral infections and diarrhoeal diseases. The camp lacks even the most basic sanitation: therefore patients can only be treated symptomatically. This may treat their condition, however, it does not provide the solution.
But there are also some happy stories to tell. We are super excited to announce that we are expanding. Thank to the financial support of HelpRefugees, right now the place next to us is full of busy construction workers, raising walls and building what is going to be a new part of our clinic very soon. Not only are we going to have more space for consultations, but also a place for a women’s specialist and room for physiotherapy.
Our excellent physiotherapist will be able to assist our many patients who suffer from chronic pain or discomfort. Many of these conditions are results of violence or simply the poor living conditions. We hope this will aid the patients to take back control over their health in promoting their own wellbeing.
To add even more good news we are now cooperating with other NGO’s. Action for Education, which made a project called „Banana House“, an education center for young people has allowed us to utilise their time and space to address Women’s health issues. The Med’EqualiTeam will provide education regarding female health and well-being. We believe by teaching women more about their health we also empower them to protect and look after themselves.
We would like to take this opportunity to thank every one of our donators and volunteers. Med’Equaliteam will continue to fight to improve the medical situation the refugees face every day. And we promise to do everything we can to make their life a little better!