Migrant Response, Italy: Twelve Days In The Open Sea

Update From The Field: Italy

Augusta, Sicily 

Migrant Response, Italy: N. and H. both came ashore with their families, but on their boats there were around 100 Egyptian children who came alone. Migrant Response, Italy: N. and H. were screaming with pain when they arrived. After more than ten days on the boat, they landed last Friday in Augusta, Sicily, along with 430 other people. Nearly all of them were from Egypt, some from sub-Saharan Africa. Worryingly, there were around 100 unaccompanied Egyptian minors amongst them.

N. is just six years old, and she has an injury to her chin. It happened four days earlier, when the high waves rocked the boat which she and her family were on, amongst a group of around 100 people that had set off from Alexandria in Egypt. She banged her face and was then crushed by the person next to her. She was hungry, but she couldn’t chew anything: her teeth are wobbly. We treated her, and reassured her until she calmed down.

H., on the other hand, was in her mother’s arms. She’s just eight months old. When we took off the nappy she’d been wearing for the previous 12 days, we found her covered in sores. “They’d told us the journey would be short,” explained her mother, “but we spent twelve days in the open sea. The people smugglers made us change from one boat to another several times, until we were finally picked up by the Italian coast guard yesterday.”

N. and H. were only the first two patients of the day.

Find out more about our work helping migrants and refugees who come ashore in Southern Italy here, or you can read about our Primary Health Clinics across Northern Iraq which providing basic healthcare to Syrian refugees and displaced Iraqis.

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