In recent weeks, MSF began providing medical and mental health services in a local medical center near Vucjak camp, where 800 to 1,000 people are now living. The main conditions MSF treats are skin conditions such as scabies and body lice and respiratory tract infections. MSF also provides treatment to survivors of violence, including sexual violence.
"Vucjak camp is a dangerous and inhumane place—no human being should live like that," said Nihal Osman, MSF's deputy field coordinator. "People arrive at our clinic from Vucjak in flipflops, without socks or jackets, a lot of them suffering from respiratory infections and from skin diseases caused by the horrific living conditions. It's heartbreaking to see and treat these people, knowing that at the end of the day they will have to go back to a tent and sleep on the floor. It is unacceptable to hear that this camp will remain open. It should be closed now."
MSF has been present in the Balkans for the last four years responding to the needs of people along the migratory routes. MSF restarted its response in early August in cooperation with the Bosnian Ministry of Health and currently receives an average of 60 patients per day in two locations. MSF medical teams have already referred several patients for specialized care for injuries caused by violence that was allegedly committed by border authorities.
"People who are not registered in official camps have no access to any kind of services and are more exposed to the risk of violence," said Osman. "Our response is designed to reach this group, who are most at need. Unless the authorities provide safe, appropriate, winterized accommodation and adequate services to these people, we fear that it's only a matter of time before we see people dying."