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Migrants arriving in the Aegean Islands

GREECE: Médecins Sans Frontières assists migrants arriving in the Aegean Islands

Athens, September 7, 2012

Following reports of increased arrivals of migrants to the Aegean Islands in the last two weeks, a Médecins Sans Frontières team visited the islands of Samos, Leros and Simi between the August 30 and September 4 to assess the situation.

During the visit, Médecins Sans Frontières provided medical services and distributed personal hygiene items to 246 people, mostly of Syrian and Afghan origin. Additionally, Médecins Sans Frontières provided water and food items for young children as needed.

Access to health care is limited for newly arriving migrants and additional resources are needed to ensure medical referrals. Moreover, all vulnerable groups (children, pregnant women, elderly people, and people with chronic diseases) need access to an initial medical assessment and follow up where needed.

Médecins Sans Frontières is concerned that in all visited facilities, the capacity of accommodation and infrastructure is limited and sanitation standards are inadequate. Access to basic resources such as drinking water, and in some cases food, is limited, while personal hygiene items are not available. Moreover, there is no separation of men, women and families in the currently used sites.

Médecins Sans Frontières has provided medical and humanitarian assistance to migrants and asylum seekers in Greece since 2008.

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