Mobile gynaecological and dental clinics of Médecins du Monde offer specialized care to refugees all over mainland Greece
Médecins du Monde (MdM) has been supporting moving populations in Greece since the beginning of the refugee crisis. Among the services provided are primary healthcare, psychosocial support and sexual-reproductive health. In addition, two specialized mobile units travel from region to region, one providing gynaecological and the other dental care. Starting in July 2016, these moving clinics, funded by European Commission, have been visiting camps in mainland Greece, offering support to refugees in need. 2,723 people have been examined in the last 6 months.
Gynaecological mobile unit: 13 camps visited; 1,558 people have received care
Sexual and reproductive health (SRH) is a priority of MdM’s work with Greece’s refugee and migrant population. All its medical teams have a midwife, offering ante and post-natal control, family planning services, etc. Moreover, a mobile gynaecological unit has been active in refugee camps all around mainland Greece. It has already visited 13 different locations and is dealing with women of all ages. Among the 1,558 consultations, 21% concerned ante-natal care and 14% were related to vaginal infections.
“We deal with simple cases of obstetrics and gynaecology. When necessary, more complicated situations are referred to local hospitals. Apart from the usual concerns of women, we have been focusing on contraception and on prevention of Sexually Transmitted Infections (STI). However, the greatest challenge that we have been facing these past months is follow-up. With people being transferred from camps to hotels or to more suitable locations, the follow-up of a pregnancy or of a new-born’s health becomes a struggle”, comments Maria Takou, one of the two gynaecologists of the mobile unit.
Dental mobile unit: 9 camps visited; 1,165 people examined
The dental mobile unit consists of a dentist, a dental assistant and a driver. It visits camps according to the needs assessed. So far, the mobile clinic has visited 9 different camps and delivered specialized dental care to 1,165 refugees and migrants. Among the services provided are emergency dental services (root canal treatment, extraction), cavities’ restoration and preventive dental care.
“Providing emergency dental care in the field requires a lot of flexibility. Our daily practice concerns mainly pain relief and infection control, in an attempt to give our patients a functional oral health condition without delay. Not having access to dental services for so long – during war or while living under unstable, poor hygiene conditions – makes people feel severe dental discomfort”, explains Sofia Kouva, the dentist of the mobile unit.
Among the consultations, 37% concerned preventive dental care and concentrated on children aged under 15, while 39% were related to the most common dental pathologies such as pulpitis (28%) and caries (11%), mainly found in adults.
About Médecins du Monde – Doctors of the World Greece
Médecins du Monde-Doctors of the World Greece was founded in 1990 and is part of the International network of MdM that consists of 15 Chapters (Argentina, Belgium, Canada, France, Germany, Greece, Japan, Luxemburg, Netherlands Portugal, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, United Kingdom and U.S.A.) It remains, though, a Greek organization, taking its own path based on circumstances particular to Greece, while maintaining financial and administrative independence and transparency shared with the network.
Completing 26 consecutive years of action in 2016, MdM-Greece has been acknowledged as a credible and efficient organization that fosters the sense of solidarity within the Greek Community.
Having conducted numerous humanitarian aid programs in Greece and in developing countries, Greek doctors, administration, medical staff and technical experts continue to offer their voluntary services.
MdM-Greece, with more than 600 volunteers since its foundation, in around 50 countries around the world, contributes to medical and humanitarian aid programs. Throughout the years, medical and humanitarian aid programs have been carried out in Iraq, Lebanon, Afghanistan, Sri Lanka, Indonesia, Serbia, Sudan, Palestine, Haiti, Gaza, Uganda, Tanzania, Algeria etc.
Doctors of the World Greece works with other international Non Governmental Organizations in order to more efficiently provide humanitarian aid to people in need.
About EU Humanitarian Aid
The European Union with its Member States is a leading global donor of humanitarian aid. Through the European Commission’s Humanitarian Aid and Civil Protection department (ECHO), the EU helps over 120 million victims of conflict and disasters every year. With headquarters in Brussels and a global network of field offices, ECHO provides assistance to the most vulnerable people solely on the basis of humanitarian needs, without discrimination of race, ethnic group, religion, gender, age, nationality or political affiliation.