April 17, 2020
Covid-19 and the Need for Universal Health Coverage
The current crisis in northwest Syria is the worst the region has ever experienced in the nine years since the beginning of the civil war. Almost 1 million people have been displaced since December 2019. Thousands of men, women and children are being trapped at European borders after the Greek government suspended the right to asylum.
Hundreds of humanitarian workers are facing protection issues and refugees are suffering harassment and persecution. Throughout the refugee crisis, Doctors of the World/Medecins du Monde has been one of the only international health NGOs working inside Syria, and has consistently advocated for accessible healthcare and shelter for all migrants and refugees on the move.
In Idlib’s Atmeh Hospital, MDM has conducted over 42,000 primary health care consultations, screened 754 children for malnutrition and provided 650 mothers with consultations in January alone.
On the Greek island of Lesvos, MDM is working to increase access to primary health care and psychosocial support services for refugees and asylum seekers through the operation of a PHC Clinic in Mavrovouni/Kara Tepe. Elsewhere in Greece, an assessment mission was established this month to determine current needs. An emergency team was also deployed in Sikaminia to offer assistance to arriving migrants and refugees.
With the help of devoted supporters like you, Doctors of the World is able to assist refugees and asylum seekers by building and strengthening sustainable public health infrastructure. Countless lives have been saved through your generous support.
In September, Doctors of the World USA will be collaborating with Medicos del Mundo (MDM Spain) to host an exhibition featuring photographs of the Luís Valtueña International Humanitarian Photography Award at the Instituto Cervantes in New York.
Since 1997, this prestigious award has been dedicated to the memory of Flors Sirera Fortuny, Luís Valtueña, Manuel Madrazo Osuna and Mercedes Navarro Rodríguez, four members of the organization who were killed in Rwanda and Bosnia and Herzegovina while engaged in humanitarian work.
The exhibit presents the work of the winning photographer Mohsen Kaboli and the three finalists addressing current issues: the complexity of surrogacy, migration to Europe or the United States and the forced disappearances that occurred in Spain during and after the Civil War. The exhibition will also feature a panel hosted by photographer Daniel Ochoa de Olza and the president of Doctors of the World Spain, José Félix Hoyo