Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) assist migrants arriving in the Aegean Islands
September 6, 2012
ATHENS, 06 September - Following reports of increased arrivals of migrants in the Aegean Islands in the last two weeks, an MSF team visited the islands of Samos, Leros and Simi between the 30thof August and 4th of September to assess the situation.
During the visit, MSF ensured the provision of medical services and distributed personal hygiene items (toothpaste, toothbrush, soap) to a total of 246 people, of whom a majority were of Syrian and Afghan origin. Additionally, MSF provided water and food items for young children, when needed.
It should be noted that access to health care is limited for newly arriving migrants and additional resources would need to be made available to ensure medical referrals. Moreover, all vulnerable groups (children, pregnant women, elderly people, and people with chronic diseases) should have access to an initial medical assessment and follow up where needed.
It is of concern that in all visited facilities, the capacity in terms of accommodation and infrastructure is limited and sanitation standards are inadequate. Access to basic resources such as drinking water, and in some cases food, is limited while personal hygiene items are not available. Moreover, there is no separation of men, women and families in the currently used sites.
MSF since 2008 provides medical and humanitarian assistance to migrants and asylum seekers in Greece.