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MSF in Greece, 2012
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Migrants arriving in Greece, including asylum seekers, face prolonged detention of up to 18 months.
During 2012 Doctors Without Borders/Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) provided medical assistance to migrants and refugees arriving at the land border with Turkey (Evros region) and on the eastern Aegean islands (Agathonisi, Lesvos, Leros, Samos, Simi), as well as to people in detention centers.
In December, teams extended medical services throughout the region of Eastern Macedonia and Thrace, making regular visits to detention centers as state medical teams had withdrawn. Migrants’ health had been affected by the length of their detention in sub-standard and overcrowded conditions. Staff treated patients for medical problems such as scabies, skin infections and gastrointestinal complaints.
Reappearance of Malaria
Malaria has reappeared in Greece after almost 40 years. MSF supported the Hellenic Centre for Disease Control and Prevention team and local health facilities for seven months, working in the municipality of Evrotas, in Lakonia, contributing to prevention, epidemiological surveillance, clinical management, laboratory diagnosis and vector control.
Samira *, 17 years old, Lesvos
In the Ghazni region of Afghanistan where we used to live, my father was killed, and my mother and two sisters were raped. I was the only one spared, so we decided to flee. We walked for months through mountains in the dark and the cold. We reached Lesvos island in extreme exhaustion. Here we feel safe; we received help from MSF and the local population.
At the border with Iran they separated us from one of our sisters: they put her in another truck and since then we’ve lost track of her. We want to go and live in a peaceful place, where our lives won’t be at risk.
*Name has been changed.
At the end of 2012 MSF had 16 staff in Greece. MSF has been working in the country since 1991.