Making children cry – a winter gift from MdM

Greece
Narration

MdM is continuing its successful campaign of making children cry with a series of vaccination sessions at 12 refugee camps in Greece. In total, we are vaccinating around 4,500 children in 12 refugee camps in the state, against up to 11 diseases.

At Redestos, a warehouse camp just outside the northern Greek city of Thessaloniki, the vaccinations began in the morning on Wednesday, 7 December, and were completed the following day.

A total of 80 children were vaccinated (the camp’s total population is currently 346 men, women and children), while 12 others, who were too unwell to attend, will receive their jabs in the next few days.

MdM’s Field Co-ordinator at Redestos, Konstantinous Konstantinidis, commented: ‘The vaccines have been provided by the Greek government and the next two days are about making sure all the children and young people who need them, receive them. It’s really important for a number of reasons. It’s a health issue, because these children, like all children, require protection against these diseases.

‘It’s also a human rights issue. The majority of children here who haven’t yet had these vaccinations have not done so because war prevented it. Otherwise, they would have. So we are just helping to make sure they receive what they have every right to, and war threatened to take away – protection against diseases no-one in the modern world needs to contract.’

The vaccination campaign is funded by the EU and is being carried out at 12 camps: Elliniko, Malakasa, Schisto, Katsika, Filippiada, Konitsa, Doliana, Faneromeni, Trikala, Volos, Kavala and Redestos camps.

Children aged two months to 15 years received the Hexavalent vaccine, which protects against Diptheria; Tetanus; Whooping Cough; Polio; Hepatitis A and Hepatitis B; the PCV shot, which safeguards against pneumonia; and the MMR jab (against Measles, Mumps and Rubella), according to age and need.

Among those who attended on the first day at Redestos was Abed, a refugee from Damascus, who visited with his three year-old daughter Aya.

He said: ‘She will be vaccinated tomorrow. I just wanted to come today so she will be used to it more when she has the injection. Of course it will hurt her a little, but it is good for her. She should already have been vaccinated, but when she was born, it was very hard to organise. It’s very good to have this chance here, it’s very important, and so of course we are taking it.

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