A group of voluntary doctors working on the Greece-Macedonia border have voiced concern over the possible spread of infectious diseases among the thousands of migrants stuck at the border.
They said that already signs of jaundice have been seen among some migrants.
The Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) doctors said that they are also concerned about vaccinations as they do not know if any migrants have ever been vaccinated against certain diseases.
Nearly 12,000 migrants are stuck in appalling conditions between Greece and Macedonia.
“Our biggest fear is that some epidemic is going to break out because we don’t know the vaccination status of the people. We don’t know how many children have been vaccinated, how many children need vaccinations and really it is a matter of time before an epidemic breaks out here, and no one knows what it will be,” said one doctor, Pedro.
The doctors said women and children are particularly vulnerable.
Meanwhile Afghan migrants said what made everything that much more difficult was the language barrier. They said they were not able to communicate with doctors and that no translators were available.
“When we go to the doctor we don’t have a translator and we talk to them like a dumb person and when we want to tell them we are suffering from pneumonia then we cough and when we want to tell them that we are suffering back pain then we bend up and down,” said Jan Mohammad, one Afghan migrant.
“The doctors told me that my problem is that I am complaining about pain all over, so what do we do if we can’t tell them about our pain. They are not addressing the problem properly and checking properly. They only gave us two tablets,” said Bahram another migrant.
But poor weather conditions and the lack of sanitation in the camp are key concerns among medical staff who fear these could lead to an outbreak of sorts.