PQMD Members International Medical Corps and AbbVie Foundation Delivering Hope in a Time of Uncertainty

As the refugee crisis continues on the shores of Greece, health care becomes less about saving lives, and more about saving hope.

For the more than 3,000 inhabitants of Skaramagas refugee camp, “home” is either a tent with no protection from the harsh seaside elements of coastal Greece, or a small containment unit with room for two bunk beds. The only bathrooms are a row of portable toilets, typically a five-minute walk from their living quarters. Children wander aimlessly, with no formal school or activities available to them. Depression and post-traumatic stress run rampant, and there is a constant threat of disease from poor hygiene conditions.

International Medical Corps, a global health care nonprofit, has been on the ground since the beginning of the refugee crisis in Greece, assisted by a grant from the AbbVie Foundation. As shown in the video below, they offer more than medical, psychological and hygiene services: In a situation that can seem utterly hopeless, International Medical Corps offers hope.

“The work that International Medical Corps is doing to respond to the refugee crisis is nothing less than heroic. Their interactions with the families in the camps are so meaningful – the refugees know who they are, they know they can trust them and receive support from them,” says Melissa Walsh, vice president, AbbVie Foundation, who traveled to Skaramagas in August 2016 to witness the impact of International Medical Corps’ efforts.

“People are literally stuck in these camps and there is little clarity around how long they will be there. This is a true humanitarian crisis and the international community must keep focus on the thousands of people who need our help,” Walsh says. “That’s definitely something I took back with me and continue to share with anybody who will listen.”

The AbbVie Foundation extends its gratitude to International Medical Corps for all they have done, and continue to do, and to the families of Skaramagas refugee camp for allowing us to tell their stories.