Give a chance to the brothers of Ailan: reception of refugees in Greece

avramopoulos-moria-2017

Dimitris Avramopoulos, Member of the EC in charge of Migration, Home Affairs and Citizenship, travelled to Lesbos to visit the refugee camp of Karatepe municipality. Visit of a refugee camp in the Karatepe municipality: Dimitris Avramopoulos, in the middle, meeting with refugees. Date: 18/01/2017 Reference: P-033444/00-16 Location: Lesbos. © European Union , 2017 / Source: EC – Audiovisual Service / Photo: Nikolia Apostolou.

This article was exclusively written for the Sting by Ms Michaella Alexandrou. The writer is a first year medical student at the University of Athens, Greece. She is also affiliated to the International Federation of Medical Students Associations (IFMSA). However, the opinions expressed in this piece belong strictly to the writer and do not necessarily reflect IFMSA’s view on the topic, nor The European Sting’s one.

Our age has been declared a period of confusion, because, even though after the formation of the EU people expected a high standard of living, real democracy and respect towards human rights, the harsh reality is a climaxing humanitarian crisis, with the refugee crisis being its latest sign. Thousands of people have found a wrongful end in the Mediterranean, and even the cold winter has been unable to stop the migrating populations.

Whoever manages to survive this risky journey, overcoming the dangers of the sea and the smugglers, aka “dealers of hope”, are now gathered in camps which resemble “concentration camps” more than temporary accommodation. From there on a new Odyssey for these people begins: a battle with their health.

The healthcare services and psychosocial support in the camps are provided from the Ministry of Health in collaboration with humanitarian NGOs (Doctors without Borders, Doctors of the World, International Red Cross etc) and international institutions, like the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees. Although there have been serious efforts to cover basic health needs, accommodation facilities are less than sufficient to house the ever-growing population of refugees coming to Greece, which poses a great threat to their health status.

ΚΕΕLPΝΟ (Center of Screening & Prevention of Diseases of Greece) has made numerous warnings for the possibility of an outbreak of contagious diseases among refugee populations, like intestinal infections, tuberculosis, hepatitis and malaria, because the uncontrollable mass cohabitation in inappropriate living conditions creates aν ideal environment for the outspread of such diseases.

As the Doctors of the World state in their report, the health of the refugees can be considered in good condition at the beginning of their journey, but health issues appear during their efforts to reach their destination country, mostly due to the sanitary and living conditions. The most common diseases that were recorded in the report were infections of the respiratory system (25%), orthopedic incidents (13%) and dermatological problems (13%). Apart from these, however, we cannot overlook the psychological disorders, which, even though are rarely statistically analyzed, are considered the most common health issue these people face, as witnesses of war and death. [1]

The big question is what can be done now for them, for their better health and a hopeful future. In order for such a solution to be considered feasible, the problem has to be addressed neither as a Syrian, nor as a Greek one, it has to be faced as an international one, with implications for every one of us. Although international (Geneva Convention) and European law (Dublin Regulation) have created legal obligations that bind all the European nations to respect and take care of asylum-seekers and refugees, in reality, during situations of crisis the reception countries have to face way more difficulties in contrast to the destination countries, which results in inhumane camps, like the ones currently operating in Greece.

Therefore, a righteous allocation of the populations, according to each country’s GDP, and at the same time acceleration of the relocation mechanism, is required. In addition, an upgrade of the reception system and the current situation in the temporary accommodation facilities are important in order for the refugees to be offered the necessary healthcare services and living conditions, so that they have a chance to live a life in dignity.  

What is pre-required is that we overcome our illogical egocentrism that nowadays suppress the humanistic values. Especially us, as medical students all over Europe can advocate our governments and claim respect towards everyone’s’ human rights, and especially for vulnerable groups.

We have to remember that medicine is no simple profession, but requires great responsibility. As the brave of the islands that save refugees prove every day, what remains in this harsh reality is our humanity.  

[1] Médecins du Monde in Greece: A strong partnership with EU to assist refugees, http://mdmgreece.gr/app/uploads/2016/11/PRESS-RELEASE_Medecins-du-Monde_refugees-program_2016-2.pdf

About the author

Michaella Alexandrou is a first year medical student at the University of Athens, Greece. She is an active member of HelMSIC (Hellenic Medical Students International Committee) and a Local Officer on Human Rights and Peace. She strongly believe that we all have to stand up together for human rights and «be the change we want to see in the wosrld». By taking action against human rights violations, a safer and more humane world is possible!

The translation was made by Nikolas Karvelas (HelMSIC NORP).

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Featured Stings

A day in the life of a refugee: the role of nations and citizens of the world

Trump’s trade wars: Aiming at long term gains for America

Eurostat overturns Commission’s assessment of the economy

European Youth Vlog

What Merkel and Macron are to tell Trump in Davos?

Are the G20 leaders ready to curb corporate tax-avoidance?

Youth and Participation: are the people rising up in Spain? 


Bank resolutions and recapitalisations by the ESM may end up politically swayed

Inflation down to 0.7%, unemployment up at 12.2%: Bad omens for Eurozone

China confirms anti-state-subsidy investigation on EU wine imports

MWC 2016 LIVE: Telenor CEO calls on operators to embrace Mobile Connect initiative

Quality Education on the table at the European Parliament

“The winner is who can accelerate the transition to a new digital era”. The Sting reports live from EBS 2015: a Digital Europe 4.0

The West and Russia impose a new order on the world

GSMA announces new keynote speakers for 2018 Mobile World Congress

“As German Chancellor I want to be able to cope with the merger of the real and digital economy”, Angela Merkel from Switzerland; the Sting reports live from World Economic Forum 2015 in Davos

Are ECB’s €500 billion enough to revive Eurozone? Will the banks pass it to the real economy?

Gloomy new statistics signify no end to Eurozone’s economic misery

Germany hides its own banks’ problems

Matthias in Canada

Bankers don’t go to jail because they are more equal than us all

Professional practices of primary health care for Brazilian health and gender inequality

Road to Brexit: the UK seeks early agreement on Data Privacy with the EU

WEF Davos 2016 LIVE: “It is the implementation, Stupid!”, German Finance Minister Wolfgang Schaueble points the finger to Greece from Davos

German banks suffer of nausea amidst rough seas

Real EU unemployment rate at 10.2%+4.1%+4.7%: Eurostat Update

Whose interests are protected by the new Mortgage Directive?

Human rights in Brussels and in Beijing: a more balanced approach needed

Travel the world, find yourself

Digital business is Europe’s best hope to get back to growth

Eurozone: Sovereign debt decreases for the first time since 2007

EU: Protecting victims’ rights from cartels and market abuses

Eurozone’s credibility rock solid

JADE Spring Meeting Live Coverage: Entrepreneurial skills in the digital markets

EU prepares for the worst case scenario as Turkey seems to be withdrawing from the migration deal

Assembly of European Regions @ European Business Summit 2014: The European regions on the path to recovery

How Greece was destroyed

WEF Davos 2016 LIVE: “There is a communication issue (about China) which markets don’t like” Christine Lagarde, Managing Director of IMF stresses from Davos

Paris, Rome, Brussels and Frankfurt to confront Berlin over growth and the Athens enigma

MWC 2016 Live: Mobile ad industry still waiting for “revolution”

MWC 2016 LIVE: Stripe gives payments leg-up to startups in emerging markets

Happens now in Brussels: Green Week sets the EU and global climate policy agenda

Germany to re-invent its security position in Europe and a chaotic world

Auditors say EU spending delivers limited value for money but the timing of their report poses questions

A new arrangement between Eurozone’s haves and have-nots

TTIP fight round 6: last chance for the negotiators to finally open up as they touch the Brussels ring

How much more social deterioration can the EU people endure?

Half the world’s population is still offline. Here’s why that matters

EU Top Jobs summit ended with no agreement: welcome to Europe’s quicksand!

MWC 2016 LIVE: Intel focuses on 5G “beyond the Powerpoint”

Climate change and health: an everyday solution

Commission goes less than mid-way on expensive euro

EU fight against tax-evasion and money laundering blocked by Britain

Is the West gradually losing Africa?

The new EU “fiscal compact” an intimidation for all people

Refugee crisis update: EU still lacks solidarity as Hungary and Slovakia refuse to accept EU Court’s decision

EU-Western Balkans summit in Sofia

Juncker Investment Plan for Europe welcomed by European Youth Forum

Latest leaked TTIP document confirms EU sovereignty may be under threat

The EU seals CETA but plans to re-baptise TTIP after missing the 2016 deadline

More Stings?

Speak your Mind Here

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

w

Connecting to %s