There is a huge need for dental care in refugee camps across Europe. Dentaid has now been asked by Greek charities working on the islands of Lesvos and Samos to provide dental treatment for people living in terrible pain. They say that some refugees have such severe dental pain that they are unable to eat solid food. No dental care has been available in these camps.
On Lesvos there are separate camps for men and women and children. Dentaid volunteers will visit Moira Camp where around 2000 men are staying and Kara Tepe which is home to about 800 women and children. In Samos there is one large camp where about 3,000 refugees are living in tents.
Dentaid volunteers can also go to the refugee camps in northern Greece. Since last July they have visited 15 different camps to provide dental care.
Dentaid is sending dental equipment to the camps and has been offered a container to work from. The equipment is basic and conditions are tough but you’ll be rewarded with a warm welcome and have the chance to provide pain relieving dental care for people who really need your help. Many of the refugees had first class dental treatment in their home countries.
Volunteers will triage, treat and provide aftercare for the refugees. The majority of patients will require extractions and some refugees have developed complex dental problems since fleeing their homes. You will also treat children and Dentaid will seek every opportunity to provide oral health promotion and toothbrushing programmes once the refugees’ basic dental needs have been met.
In northern Greece our volunteers work in makeshift clinics, tents, containers and warehouses to provide dental care for hundreds of refugees. Throughout the week you will visit several camps.
Volunteers will need to register with Dentaid who will give your details to the Greek authorities to ensure you can gain access to the camps.
The refugees come from many countries including Syria, Iraq, Iran, Afghanistan, Algeria and Libya. They have arrived in the camps after fleeing war, persecution, poverty and violence.
Although life in the refugee camps is very hard, we have found them to be well organized and safe places to work. Many refugees are keen to translate and want to help the clinics run smoothly. Volunteers of all different nationalities give their time and skills to help in this humanitarian crisis providing clothing, food, hot drinks, medical help and shelter for rufugees but very few dentists have been to the camps and there is a huge demand for treatment.