Quality healthcare and psycho-social support for refugees
Submitted by: Sakellaraki Ourania, Project Manager of MdM Greece's project on Lesvos
Email: [email protected]
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- “The Journey”, a video by MdM Greece about the refugees’ journey from the islands in the Aegean to the borders in the North, available here
- “The child and the wave”, a video by MdM Greece on the souls that have been lost at sea, available here.
The project in brief
Greece (Lesvos Island)
Since September 2017.
While the current programme agreement is completed on 31 December .2019, MdM Greece have submitted a proposal for continuation of the project under a UNHCR open call for 2020. There is an expectation that the project will be renewed for 2020.
The project provides quality primary healthcare and psychosocial support services, including sexual and reproductive healthcare (SRH) and support for survivors of sexual and gender-based violence (SGBV) in Kara Tepe refugee camp in Lesvos. This is achieved through the operation of a medical clinic inside the Hospitality Center of the Municipality of Mytilene located in Kara Tepe. The overall accommodation capacity is 1.250 – 1.300 individuals. The project also assists in broadening the support base for refugees on Lesvos by including several actors active in the field.
Key goal of the project is to ensure, sustain and increase quality primary healthcare, psychosocial support and SRH services to refugees residing in Kara Tepe camp on Lesvos island, Greece.
MdM aims to sustain the provision of quality services in the Kara Tepe (KT) Hospitality Center as the needs of the current population remain high, especially considering the fact that in Kara Tepe priority is given to vulnerable families or families with specific needs.
The project facilitation was made possible by the support of UNHCR.
Main activities of the Good Practice
- Operation of a Clinic in the Kara Tepe (KT) Hospitality Center, which provides quality primary healthcare, psychosocial support and SRH services.
- The medical team consists of four doctors (one of which is a pediatrician and one a gynecologist), a midwife, a nurse, five interpreters, administrative staff and a field coordinator. Two additional nurses are assisting at landing sites on the North Sea line and in the UNHCR Stage 2 transit camp.
- Mental Health and Psychological Support (MHPSS) services are offered, with refugees being referred to a mental health professional after consultations. The services offered via the project are developed in partnership with other actors active in the field, thus enhancing the partnership of other stakeholders, including refugees and the host population.
- MdM Greece is the only implementing medical partner for this project, under UNHCR, collaborating with other partners such as METAaction, Praksis and Kara Tepe camp management.
- Collaboration is on-going on the ground with other numerous agencies and public bodies, such as:
- Municipal Authorities
- Public hospitals
- National and international civil society partners
- Other actors such as UNCHR, Caritas Hellas, ELiL, IsraAID, Iliaktida, PIKPA, IRC, KEP, IKA, EODY (former KEELPNO), RIC secretary, Asylum Service, EASO, PRAKSIS, MSF, ERCI, BRF, SMH, ARSIS and DRC.
Challenges and how they were overcome
The key challenge is the prevention and management of potential medical outbreaks, as well as significant changes in the profile of the refugees residing within the camp. More than 14.000 people reside in Moria RIC, which only has capacity for just 3.000 individuals. Knowing that all refugees that come to Kara Tepe have been in Moria RIC and have been exposed to harmful conditions, MdM emphasizes a more holistic and inclusive approach in the provision of services as well as the targeted mitigation of incidents of sexual and gender-based violence. MdM follows a zero tolerance policy in order to control and mitigate risks such as sexual exploitation and abuse, corruption and conflict of interest via training and an awareness mechanism to avoid mismanagement. The Code of Conduct of MdM as well as the SOPS’s guidelines for the project have led to successful implementation and continuity of offered services.
Results of the Good Practice
From September 2017 to the end of October 2019, we achieved:
- Primary health care (PHC) consultations: 30,129
- Psychosocial Support Services (PSS): 27,285, in 8,169 consultations
- Sexual and reproductive health (SRH) consultations: 4,670
From January 2019 to end of October 2019, we achieved:
- Paediatric actions: 2,383
- Vaccinations: 1,213
- Awareness Campaigns: 1,700
- Outreach activities: 1,512
- Secondary health care (SHC) Referrals: 1,096
- Mental Health and Psychological Support (MHPSS) Referrals: 1,731
- Sexual and gender-based violence (SGBV) cases: 86