Lesvos – medical organization in the camps
The general layout of the camps Kara Tepe, Moria and Pikpa is described in another post.
In Kara Tepe, the medical organization as well as general conditions seem largely satisfactory. Both Medecins du Monde and MSF are present with mobile clinics, which seem to cover the needs. This camp caters to Syrian families, who generally are registered within 1-2 days and then leave. The camp is generally managed by Volounteers Coordination Agency, which accepts volunteers.
The Moria camp is located in an old military installation just outside the small village of Moria. The camp is surrounded by privately owned olive groves (also known as “outside”, “the Afghan Hill” or “The Olive Grove”). The old military installation, also known as “inside the camp” is guarded by the Greek authorities who let certain migrants in, presumably those they judge to be vulnerable. The rest (the majority) stay outside the camp, in The Olive Groves. The only one with authority over these groves is the owner of the land, an olive farmer. The whole of Moria (both inside and outside) is a waiting camp for all BUT Syrian families, as they go to Kara Tepe. The old military installation (“inside the camp”) is located on a hill. On one side the UNHCR built some shelters where people stay on a first-come first-serve basis as it looks, at the other side (The Afghan Hill) people are left to themselves to either settle in empty old tents or buy new ones.
Volounteers are not allowed inside the camp unless special permission is given by the police authorities.
As for medical care, MSF has a mobile clinic at the side of the outside camp opposite The Afghan Hill. Medecins du Monde are present inside, Mercy Worldwide also are present with a medical team, both inside and ouside it seems. Furthermore Health Point Project has a medical team at the foot of The Afghan Hill. Of these four organizations, Mercy Worldwide and Health Point Project accepts volounteers (with MSF and MDM, you have to go through their recruitment process). Other small medical organizations may be found on the Afghan Hill as well. When I was there Refugee Aid opened their tent at the top of the hill.
Unfortunately, there is no coordination of activities between these groups.
With a migrant population of 5000, most essentially healthy and in a transit situation where all but emergencies should await treatment in the country of destination, one medical organization should be sufficient to cover the needs. During the week I worked with Health Point Project more than 90% of the patients seen were for minor illnesses such as common cold. That does not mean that there is not a need for social support of these people. However, in my opinion the main issue in the Moria Camp is not a lack of medical facilities, buth rather a lack of basic facilities, such as sanitation and acceptable sleeping conditions.
Overview of all posts on Lesvos and Lesvos FAQ for volunteers.
Overview of the medical organization of volunteers on Lesvos.
Stories from the Afghan Hill.
The migrants way through Lesvos – part 1 and part 2.