Urgent Care Centre for Moria

Update posted by Leslie Katherine Muirhead On Mar 23, 2020

Dear supporters,

Many of you have chosen to remain anonymous. I want to thank you, to reach you somehow, to express the gratitude that we feel at Healthbridge, and that I feel as an individual.

Thank you to the strangers who have reached out, who have contributed.

When I'm next able, I will be sharing an update with exactly how your money was used.

Merci, Efcharisto, Thank you, Shukraan, Tashakoor <3

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Update posted by Leslie Katherine Muirhead On Mar 20, 2020

March 20, 2020

Good Afternoon,

I am writing to you from the frontline of the frontline - as the head of a medical organization operating in Moria Camp, on the Greek island of Lesvos. The camp is currently 1000% over capacity - approximately 20,000 people live in an area meant for fewer than 3,000. The density of the area is in line with many developing countries. The standard of living is on par with slums I worked in throughout urban Africa. Humanitarian standards do not exist. In the past two months the island has seen arson, violent attacks, beatings - against foreign workers, journalists, and refugees. The last documented incident was less than two weeks ago, and as such, hundreds of volunteers and NGOs left, fearing for the safety of their staff. What remains is a skeletal support group who now remain to assist those still stuck in Moria Camp. With the advent of Covid-19, nearly every service except for food distribution and medical care has ceased. The organizations who remain are depending on only a handful of volunteers to carry out tasks that, just a month ago, fell into the hands of hundreds.

I am writing to you as a coordinator of a medical organization that has been working to create an emergency medical space to ease the burden on the local healthcare system. Ultimately, we have reached a global pandemic at the very worst time. No medical actors currently operating have the capacity, resources, funds, or staff to handle what will come next: an outbreak of the virus in a camp with not enough water, no soap, not enough food, and inadequate shelter. When Covid-19 hits Moria Camp, I anticipate it will reach headlines across the world.

My appeal to you is strictly humanitarian: we are in urgent need of the very resources we lack. Knowing we can not access additional staff due to travel restrictions, nor can we access enough medical supply or equipment for refugees (and perhaps the local Lesvos population) puts us in a position of detriment, despair, and finally, defeat.

Having been active in humanitarian settings for fourteen years, and with a Masters Degree focused on NGOS and refugee camps, I have learned the balance between sustenance and crisis. This is a crisis at our doorstep. As a specialist in this area, I implore you to please help us with the provision of finances to purchase medical equipment and medication. In-kind donations are very welcomed, though I fear that in the race against Covid-19, and the other medical problems that it will highlight, we may be too late to rely on postage services.

Thank you very much for your time.

In humanity and solidarity,


Katie Muirhead

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Update posted by Leslie Katherine Muirhead On Nov 13, 2019

First off -- I am so grateful and thankful. These words are overused, but I don't quite know how to capture how this feels. To make a groundswell movement happen. To know that in a month from now, people who so desperately need urgent care will be able to access it, and locals too will no longer have to face an overcrowded system. Integration, community, dignity...that is what this is all about.

Please help me keep this momentum going. Today I started a facebook page, so feel free to give it a follow. There are videos and photos and more.

Let's make these next two weeks count!

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Update posted by Leslie Katherine Muirhead On Oct 31, 2019

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Update posted by Leslie Katherine Muirhead On Oct 31, 2019

First of all, thank you for reaching the point where you are considering a donation! I know that when giving money these days, it is critical to be transparent. As such, I've created a list of questions and my straightforward, honest answers.

1. How will the funds be used?


Any project has many start-up funds; from renting land, to purchasing equipment, to offering stipends to those who will be working hard every single day. Initially, the funds will be used to cover monthly rent of land, ISOBOX containers to create examining rooms, and to purchase medical equipment.

2. How will you get medicine?

I am hoping to team up with different non-profit organizations who distribute non-expired medications and medical equipment that is no longer needed in other parts of the world. These non-profit organizations exist worldwide, and I will try to contact as many as possible to ensure we are never short on medication or supplies.

3. What type of expertise do you have? Are you a doctor?

No, i am not a doctor. I am trained as a lab technician, and have a major interest in public health. I have worked in the field in East Africa for over a decade, and have worked with local health practitioners there to understand disease and medicine. I have spent months consulting with other doctors, and worked for a year in medical NGOs to learn as much as I can about medicine. I will not be operating in any medical capacity myself, and instead will be depending on hired doctors on my team, as well as a medical coordinator to make all medical decisions.

4. Are you doing this alone?

It's impossible to do anything alone! From inspiration from others, to logistical challenges, I have been discussing this project for ages. I have consulted with doctors from all over the world, and have built a team here who are heading various roles - logistics, supplies, legalities, medicine, and more.

5. Why should I support?

There are thousands of refugees trapped on Lesvos, and other Greek islands. While our focus is on Lesvos, I would like to believe we can set a model for working with Greeks and non-Greeks to help alleviate some of the pressure on the local healthcare infrastructure. If locals are able to access healthcare more quickly, and refugee claimants in Moria are able to access healthcare without having to travel to the city, we can help both populations. Moria is made up of dozens of nationalities - and it strikes me that at any moment, what was once a safe place to call home can suddenly collapse into chaos. Simply: it can happen anywhere, to anyone, for any reason. For now, those of us in a fortunate position should be doing what we can to help those who are in a less-fortunate position. Together we can work for the betterment of many, so that one day, if we are passing through a hard time, we can remember people exist to look after one another.

I will be happy to update these questions and answers. Thank you so much.


Katie

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I can't fully imagine how difficult these conditions must be for all of you in the camp. I hope that at least the financial support needed will be a help.

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