Grave health risks in refugee camps, warns Public Health Ministry

Doctors in Piraeus raise concerns of malaria outbreak, if action not taken regularly

The General Secretary of Greek Public Health Ministry, John Baskozos warned of the health risks looming at the refugee camps due to poor sanitary conditions, during a press conference on the issue of uninsured citizens and the refugee issue. He underlined that the greatest fear was the spread of infectious diseases by mosquitoes and other insects at the camps, as summer approached and the temperatures rose. The health risk was notm only contained to the refugeesa and illegal migrants, but would affect the local Greek population, he warned. Baskozos stressed that the state’s priority was to protect the nearly 20,000 children, adding however, that there was a shortage of supplies in the necessary vaccinations, with that of a tuberculosis vaccine standing out. Baskozos said the Greek state is depending on the contribution of the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC) through its expertise in examinations and the oversight of the refugees’ epidemiological condition. The vaccines needed for the children are for polio, tetanus, diphtheria, whooping cough, measles and mumps. Meanwhile, the Doctors’ Association of Piraeus warned of the reemergence of malaria if the state failed to regularly disinfect the areas where the refugees and illegal immigrants had set up camp around the port area.