From April 2016 until November 2017, Adventist Help established and run an emergency and primary health care provider in Oinofyta camp. In November 2017 Oinofyta camp was closed by the Government. Oinofyta is 1 hour north of Athens, and was ‘home’ of 700 mostly Afghan refugees. For the first 6 six months, we were the only medical provider in the camp. In October 2016, Medecins du Monde (MDM) also set up a primary health care centre in the camp, closing at 4pm. The Adventist Help clinic continued providing primary health care after-hours, and was on call 24/7 for emergencies. We also did run regular public health classes on issues such as reproductive health, smoking cessation, head lice treatment, nutrition and general hygiene. At this camp, we had become more than just a medical provider, but part of the community, so it was sad to see the camp closing. Adventist Help was one of the first organizations established in this camp and was one of the last leaving it.
In addition to our medical services, in April 2017 we started offering dental care. Existing dental services in Greece are drastically overstretched. There were residents in Oinofyta who have been waiting over 18 months for minor treatments for painful dental conditions, treatments which we were able to offer right at their doorstep.
Importantly, we had a long-term psychologist and translator on staff, available to the residents whenever they needed. It is hard to overstate how necessary this service is. It is relatively easy to treat people’s physical wounds, but far harder to treat the mental trauma from which each resident, including young children, are suffering.
+++ +++ +++
Lesvos – past project
Adventist Help as a project began in Lesvos, a small Greek island that has become the site of one of the most tragic crises in modern history. Hundreds and hundreds of boats, packed to bursting point with desperate people, began arriving on the island one after the other. In the absence of major medical NGOs, several Adventist doctors raised funds to open a mobile clinic. They worked day and night, treating and comforting wounded, terrified people, many of whom had seen family members drown on the journey. From this harrowing experience, we knew that Adventist Help as a project had to continue to respond to the needs of perhaps the world’s most vulnerable people. And from that moment on hundreds of volunteers from allover the world joint Adventist Help in this effort to bring medical care.