Hope is the biggest shortcoming

At work for refugees on Lesbos island

by Sebastian Zausch, 2020/03/12

„What is missing most here in the camp is hope“, says our intervention team member Rebekka. „Some people are already here for a whole year. And they still do not know what will happen next.” For several days now Rebekka is working in the refugee camp Moria on the Lesbos island for humedica and the Netherlands organization „Bootsvluchteling“. She is almost doing piece-work while treating classic diseases such as hypertension and diabetes, but also cuts from fights with knives. Who shows symptoms such as coughing or fever, is separated right from the start. Here, too, the Corona virus is a topic of discussion, even so till date there is no registered case in the camp. But there is an outbreak of scabies, which is nearly impossible to treat. „We do have the medicaments, but in a camp like Moria you can not change the habitant´s clothes or bed sheets as often as necessary“, tells us Rebekka.

Every day, each medical helper treats about 130 patients in the refugee camp on the Lesbos island. Photo: Tessa Kraal, Bootsvluchteling

Originally, the tent village was planned to accommodate up to 3,000 people. Now approximately 18,000 people live here, nobody is able to tell their exact number. Most probably, it is the biggest refugee camp in Europe today. However, the infrastructure did not grow along, in the unofficial part of the camp site there is neither electricity nor water.

Rebekka has stopped to ask where the refugees come from. Afghanistan, Syria or Somalia, in the end it´s all about fellow human beings. „The people are grateful that we take care of them, that we sometimes laugh with them, too“, she shares with us.

„Recently, a woman came to us complaining about stomach pains“, Rebekka tells us. „Suddenly she suffered a panic attack. It took us nearly an hour to calm here down.“ This happens once and again. The people in the camp are traumatized, on their flight they have undergone a lot. „We stabilize them and then try to transfer them to the local hospital or to another organization, which has specialized in this field“, she explains. But the need is big. Significantly bigger than all the help the aid organizations on site are able to provide.

„I am not able to change the overall situation of the people here“, explains Rebekka her motivation. „But by working here I can certainly improve the life of each patient a little bit. That means much to me.“

Please help Rebekka to alleviate the lives of the refugees on the Lesbos island.

As a humedica sponsor you support our worldwide help and make a noticeable difference in the lives of people in need.

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