P&G Helping Refugees Arriving in Greece
By Crystal Wells, Roving Communications Officer, International Medical Corps
March 9, 2016
With the support of P&G and other donors, International Medical Corps has been able to deliver health services and meet the immediate needs of refugees across three Greek islands. The $50,000 grant from P&G was combined with other resources to make two mobile medical units available and a 24-hour paramedic team available and purchase much-needed relief items.
Stationed on Samos and Leros, the mobile medical units are operated by International Medical Corps’ local partner Praksis and provide critical primary health care and psychosocial support to refugees. They have delivered more than 3,300 medical consultations, addressing illnesses such as respiratory tract infections, influenza, diarrhea, gastritis, and skin rashes, which are exacerbated by cold weather and poor hygiene conditions.
“They are very happy with us,” says Dr. Anna Gaiguroba, who works on the mobile medical unit in Samos. “Sometimes when you see one person, they then come back with the whole group. People want to be sure their health is ok for the trip because they start their long journey from here.”
In Lesvos, International Medical Corps and Praksis have created a 24-hour paramedic team that responds to incoming boats with first aid and other immediate assistance such as distributing emergency blankets and dry clothes. People often arrive wet and cold, putting them at dangerous risk of hypothermia. “Our duty is to ensure — or at least try our best — that all of them get a chance to live,” says Vaios Polichronidis, the head of the paramedic team in Lesvos.
P&G’s funding has also supported the purchasing and distribution of much-needed supplies, such as winter items and mattresses and the delivery of trainings in psychological first aid to first responders, in an effort to ensure that people are given humane, supportive, and practical help when they arrive on the shores of Greece.