With traditional healthcare facilities overwhelmed, Medecins du Monde Belgium will send volunteers to support local teams and care for the almost 17,000 refugees currently on the island, revealed the NGO on Wednesday. They are scheduled to leave in coming weeks.
“Registration and care facilities are completely overwhelmed,” explains Chris Migom, a Belgian volunteer doctor working with Medecins du Monde in Lesbos. “The reception camp can cope 2,000 people. Thousands more have to make do and sleep in tents around water points. The situation is chaotic and dangerous,” he adds.
The NGO deals with 3 to 400 patients a day and finds symptoms typical in these situations. “Colds, respiratory issues, and skin problems,” explains Dr. Migom.
The huge influx of refugees, and failures in the reception and registration process, led to increased tension in the past few days. However, authorities have now opened 20 new registration points which eased the tension. “Waiting lines are getting shorter and ferries travel more frequently,” notes Dr. Migom from his base in Lesbos.
Belgian doctors and nurses will head for Lesbos in coming weeks to support teams already in place.