In close coordination with UNHCR, Dr. Roula, a WAHA Psychiatrist, organized and facilitated four sessions with the community in Argos to discuss medical services, WAHA operations, local hospital capacity, and the community’s challenges and recent concerns.

In Kos, WAHA medical staff consisting of one doctor (a GP, Arabic speaker), and two nurses (one Greek and one Arabic speaker) provide primary healthcare at four consultation points on the island of Kos:

–       Argos (Giakalis Hotel),

–       Arsis (Bristol Hotel),

–       Save the Children facility (welcoming adolescents)

–       Annex (outside the RIC in Kos), where 360 refugees from Pakistan are living in very harsh conditions

In 2016, in view of the handover to the Greek authorities, WAHA’s UNHCR project budget was decreased resulting in a change in capacity and operations in Kos. At the Argos Hotel, Patients expressed their concerns with regards to the decreased medical service provision, and requested more than what could feasibly be provided.

WAHA in coordination with UNHCR organized four sessions with the community, divided by language and gender (Arabic speaking males, Arabic speaking females, Farsi speaking families, and Urdu speaking people).

Dr. Roula, a WAHA psychiatrist, facilitated these sessions and ensured the clear exchange of information with regards to WAHA’s operations in Kos and also involving the capacity of the local hospital and of the Greek healthcare system. In addition, together with a UNHCR focal point, information about AMKA cards was provided to refugees.

These sessions were an opportunity for refugees to share their overall concerns and the challenges faced on the island, such as a lack of language courses, lack of clarify on employment and on the asylum process. Patients consistently addressed their rising stress levels resulting from the uncertainty of their situation.

Thanks to the open and transparent discussions during the sessions, refugees have a better idea about can be expected of WAHA’s medical services, and of the limited capacity in which the hospital in Kos operates. In addition, the meetings contributed to increased the trust between WAHA medical team and the Argos PoCs, creating a supportive relationship, which will directly benefit daily communication and work.

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