This is our refugee team setting up the exam rooms with us. Despite the conditions here there were smiles and laughter setting up these modules without directions. They are really happy to have something to do. They are smart and restless while sitting around waiting to start a life. These folks are our French and Ghanaian translators. We have just met our Arabic translators. Farsi translators ???? Not yet, but two Afghani men came in with a great phone app and their two month old very sick baby was able to be treated using this translator. Takes awhile of back and forth but it is really great to have. This morning we have a 7 am meeting with Medequali ngo to discuss collaboration and referrals. Psych still a huge issue with virtually no services here. A woman came with her husband and her trauma was so great she no longer speaks, eats little and just cries. I held her hand for awhile and could feel such pain in her being. Don’t know her story other than she lost her child and was a VOT (Victim of Torture).

Another young man came with his brother and he also no longer speaks. He looked at me with these big sad sad eyes. This man has some abdominal issues and saw Leslie who was very concerned about him. We will see him again today . Services here are so difficult – no specialists on the island, the community hospital is not equipped for 7,000 refugees. Still only one doctor at the camp, who is a microbiologist. It takes over six months for a referral. It is so broken the UN says a refugee is entitled to the same care as a citizen of the country they are in. Well that is impossible here. The Greeks, despite the overwhelming numbers of refugees, have not closed their borders. 

Really have to honor the Greeks here. Though there is great frustration with the situations they still understand these people are humans and need help and do not turn them away.

Posted by Valerie Hellermann on Saturday, October 26, 2019