Sophie, our Hero on site with over 18 months of experience with helping refugees as a medic, introduces herself and the project:
I’m Sophie and I’m a doctor from France, even though my familial roots are from many more countries ! I came to Greece in January 2017 for two months, but ended up staying here. Being a doctor means that I’m able to help people with one of their essential needs, their own health. Refugees are living in such dreadful conditions that their health is not as good as it could be, whether from acute diseases, or from a chronic one which is not treated as it should be.
After helping different NGOs, I started a new project on Samos island. As all the hotspots on the Greek islands, people there are living in tents, in an overcrowded camp (nearly 3000 for a camp designed for 650 people!). Only one doctor of the Greek government is working there, and that is clearly not enough. Since last week people can come to a centre where they can get free medical consultations and treatment.
Sophie and her team provide around 20 patients per day with vital health care ranging from antibiotic cures to steroid creams against scabies and everything in between! Around 4 times per week, she orders meds at the local pharmacy, which we finance. Also, we support Sophie herself by reimbursing her private costs on location as she has worked as a volunteer for the past 18 months. Below some pictures of the practice and of Sophie helping a patient:
An Afghan lady told me with her translating app “If you were not there, I don’t know what would have happened to me”. She couldn’t get the abcess on her right arm treated before, and it’s finally getting better after 4 days of daily bandages and antibiotics. The Afghan lady is very pregnant and a strong infection like this endangers the life of the baby. Therefore, the lady was very stressed and scared every day, while she is still alone in a tent in the overcrowded Vathy camp, where there are over 3000 refugees while there is only space (and food & water) for 650.