DO GOOD MISSION-SYRIAN REFUGEES
Do Good Mission - Syrian Refugees Camps, Bulgaria
The increase in refugee numbers in Bulgaria since 2013 led to overcrowding in most of the accommodation centres with respective shortage of adequate healthcare. For most of the refugees, which crossed into Bulgaria and were transferred to various detention and reception centres in the last year, this was the first and only medical examination.
Médecins Sans Frontières/Doctors Without Borders (MSF) who were the only available resource in the camps has already phased out with no continuous presence in the centers. This influx of refugees resulted in pressure on the Bulgarian state system and a dramatic drop in standards of healthcare and hygiene at the centres.
Vulnerable groups, including pregnant and breastfeeding women, children under five, patients with chronic diseases or mental health issues, disabled people and the elderly, could not always be identified on arrival in order to guarantee them access to specialised care, food and suitable accommodation. After the cold winter months, there were recurrent problems as lack of accommodation, electricity, bedding and sanitation facilities.
Medical care was also insufficient, with only emergency ambulance referrals to hospitals available. Consultations were provided on an ad hoc basis and there is no easy access to the supply of drugs. These Do Good Missions were held in close collaboration with the State Agency for Refugees and the University Hospital Alexandrovska, Sofia.
During the period February 25-27 2015 a team of medical doctors (surgeons, pediatricians, ophthalmologists and general practitioners) from Alexandrovska University Hospital and other volunteer doctors in collaboration with a group of volunteers from the Organization of the Jews in Bulgaria Shalom performed general comprehensive and specific medical checkups in all three refugees centers located on the territory of the city of Sofia.
This initiative was held with the generous support by World Jewish Relief and The European Council of Jewish Communities. A total number of 215 adults and 338 children were examined, all of which received free medications and those in need of optical correction – a pair of eye glasses. All refugees who needed more profound examination were referred to Alexandrovska University Hospital for treatment covered by the NHS.
This Do Good Mission was supported by
World Jewish Relief