Coronavirus: Doctors mobilise to help migrants in Paris
In times of darkness, some light. Doctors Without Borders (MSF, or Médecins Sans Frontières) teams are travelling to Paris to help manage coronavirus cases amongst vulnerable people!
The teams will support French health authorities to detect and manage COVID-19 cases amongst migrants, unaccompanied children, and the homeless. These groups are particularly vulnerable to the outbreak as they lack access to basic sanitation and a place to self-isolate. Some often already have fragile health or underlying conditions that exacerbates the risk level.
Whether they live in substandard housing or in overcrowded, makeshift encampments, unsanitary environments like these foster the spread of the virus among people often already in poor health brought on by their living conditions, and excluded from healthcare systems.
“In the context of the coronavirus pandemic, we are particularly concerned about the fate of people in precarious situations,” explains Pierre Mendiharat, MSF’s deputy operations director. “If nothing is done to detect and isolate cases, the disease risks spreading among them rather quickly. And even more so, as these people who live on the margins of services available to the general population can be difficult to reach.”
It is excellent news that these teams will be supporting vulnerable people in Paris and surrounding regions. However, similar help is essential in other at-risk locations, especially amongst the refugee camps of Northern France.
Without enough assistance, places like Calais will face an enormous risk in face of COVID-19.
We need your help
If you would like to help us keep these men, women, and children safe, please consider donating money or supplies. We are in particular need of hand sanitisers, warm clothing, and sleeping tents. See below for our priority list, or visit our dedicated Coronavirus page to keep track of the situation as it develops.
Refugees in Calais need your help. If you are not able to volunteer, don’t forget that every donation counts. 100% of what is donated will be used to support the lives of migrants. We have already had some amazing donations and unsung heroes lending a helping hand, but more support is needed.