The recent exit of big international organisations from the medical sector in Lesvos left many gaps in services for refugees. In response, ERCI has launched the ERCImed program, providing physical and mental health services for refugees in two camps on Lesvos. ERCImed is serving the acute and chronic health needs of refugees in the Moria and Kara Tepe camps. ERCImed responders also work with our search and rescue teams to provide emergency medical services to arriving refugees.
Aside of the routine and urgent healthcare needs of refugees, there are many incidents relating to the living conditions and overall uncertainty of the future of this displaced population, who often seek comfort in self-harming, drinking and other practices which require immediate medical attention.
Our ERCImed team responds to emergencies of all kinds and is managing acute and chronic health problems. Most emergencies in the camps are not physical but psychological. Therefore we equip our teams with the basics of psychological first aid. The ERCImed team provides the first line of health services for many camp residents. We work to build constructive relationships with camp management, the local health authorities and service providing partners. Accurate, timely and professional assessments in combination with effective referrals to other health providers helps ensure that refugees do not fall through the cracks of the system and are provided consistent, quality care.
Sea, Shoreline, Camp: Our medics are deployed everywhere on the island of Lesvos. In cooperation with the Hellenic Coast Guard we deploy our rescue boat crews and allow the first medical attention minutes after being rescued from the sea. Our cars and off-road vehicles come with the option to set up first response areas for triage and emergency treatments even in remote areas like the rocky shoreline of south Lesvos or in highly dynamic situations like camp evacuations. The two biggest sites on Lesvos Moria ( ~ 3000 residents) and Kara Tepe ( ~ 1000 residents) are equipped with clinic spaces which ERCImed doctors, nurses, interpreters and med-students staff for 8 hours during daytime in Moria and 8 hours at night in Kara Tepe. Since we are operating in a highly dynamic and unpredictable situation, we always have a quick response team of rescuers and medics ready to support our partners react to emergencies at any time.