MSF: No medical care for immigrants in detention centers
Posted by clandestina on 30 August 2011
Athens, August 29, 2011 – The situation for immigrants held in detention in Evros and Rodopi is once again crucial. For almost a month, there has been no medical care to immigrants and asylum seekers in detention, as teams of the Ministry of Health have stopped providing medical and psychosocial care. Medecins Sans Frontieres (MSF) decided to resume their medical activities in the region to meet the urgent needs of immigrants.
“From July 31, due to lack of funding the medical staff of the Ministry of Health stopped its work in the detention centers of Evros and Rodopi. After a brief exploratory visit, we decided to start working again at these sites. The needs for medical care, psychosocial support and humanitarian assistance is enormous, “said Joanna Pertsinidou, coordinator of MSF emergency. Every day over 250 immigrants, including children and pregnant women, and many refugees from Syria, are crossing the Turkish border and arrive in detention in critical condition, exhausted, without food and water. “Despite the significant reduction in the number of people detained, we have not seen any significant improvement in living conditions and hygiene in these places,” adds Ms. Pertsinidiou. The number of migrants and asylum seekers crossing the border is expected to increase dramatically in the coming months.
During the third week of August, an eight-member team has started to provide medical care and psychosocial support and began activities to improve living conditions and hygiene in the border police jails in Tychero, Soufli and Feres and in the detention centers in Fylakio and Venna. “We see a definite need for our teams to be there because nobody else is able now to take care of these people,” says Ms. Pertsinidou.
MSF calls on the Greek and European authorities to ensure decent living conditions in detention facilities, suitable accommodation, adequate distribution of food, clothing and personal hygiene and adequate yard time.