In 2015, over a single year's span, at least 540,000 refugees from the Middle East - most fleeing conflict, insecurity, and widespread violence - arrived on the shores of Lesvos, Greece. In order to provide better care for these vulnerable groups in transition, the Care-A-Van Acute Response Service (CARS) program is a versatile, multi-disciplinary approach for engaging with at-risk populations that are both dispersed and nomadic through the provision of culturally competent health care providers
Current avenues to provide medical care to refugees in Greece are based on static, traditional models of care. Key support services such as primary first aid, psychosocial support, maternal and female reproductive health care, informational guidance, and sexual and gender-based violence assistance have suffered. Women, children and other vulnerable people are obliged to hurry along at any expense to keep up with other family members or friends whom they are dependent on for support.
We will partner with Dr. Siyana Shaffi and Team Kitrinos Health Care to purchase, equip and staff a mobile Care-A-Van vehicle to reach this fluid at-risk population. Utilizing a medically outfitted vehicle and a team of interpreters, physicians, midwives, nurses and paramedics, this program will seek to fill major gaps in the humanitarian support network by delivering basic health care directly to vulnerable populations on the ground.
The lives impacted by this program include thousands of refugees arriving in Greece. In January 2016 alone, the UNHCR documented more than 36,000 arrivals. CARS can provide the immediate basic health care that so many refugees need but lack from the official camps. Let's make sure no one else falls through the cracks.