Faced with the growing violence and intensification of the conflicts in the Middle East, there is a constantly growing number of refugees from Syria, Iraq, and Yemen. After four years of war, 11.7 million Syrians have been driven out of their country, more than half of the total population. There are also another 4.1 million Iraqi refugees, and thousands more displaced persons fleeing the unstable and dangerous areas of the region, including Yemen.
According to the European agency Frontex, more than 500,000 men, women and children have been counted along the borders of Europe in the first eight months of the year, and 156,000 people in the month of August alone.
Transit or "presumed" transit countries are being totally destabilized. Jordan, Turkey and Lebanon find themselves receiving migrants in massive numbers.
The Sanofi Espoir Foundation supports the Women And Health Alliance (WAHA) in partnership with The Chain of Hope in aiding these migrants in terms of healthcare and first aid in order to improve their lives and meet urgent medical needs.
Setting up a medical network
The first priority is to locate people in the migrant communities in transit countries who have a medical background, such as doctors and nurses. They will receive a brief training course in major first aid, emergency and basic hygiene practices.
Then, in the refugee camps in countries of arrival, medical necessities will be provided to set up a chain of primary care. Networking will then be organized locally with hospitals, doctors and local NGOs to form a medical chain that can provide care to the most vulnerable – above all women and children.
- In Serbia, WAHA has partnered with the local NGO "Save Babies" to set up a pediatric and gynecological clinic that has been providing care seven days a week.
- In Macedonia, a network of local partners has been established to provide care services.
- In Turkey, local partners have been networked to provide care services in several primary care centers especially in Bodrum, which because of its proximity to the Greek island of Kos, has become a key entry point for migrants.
- Lastly, in Greece, actions are being carried out on the island of Lesbos, especially around the town of Molivos, where there is currently no medical NGO. This is one of the main arrival routes for migrants, since the Turkish coast is only ten kilometers away.