Health mission for migrants

Martin Zatloukal during the treatment of refugee (photo: Richard Bouda).

Who are voluntary students sent by Diocesan Caritas Brno to help migrants in Greece? They answered our questions – why did they decide to participate, what did it give and take from them, what was their best experience...

Tereza Vrtělová (photo: Diocesan Caritas of Brno)."When I saw the offer for medical students, I came up with the idea that this could be a new life experience for me and an opportunity to realize my dream – try to live a medicine „without limits“. After the first information meeting I wanted to be chosen for this project so that I could learn more about myself, improve my medical skills and last but not least to know a foreign country. I was also in my own line to see the complicated situation known from media. It gave me a new view of myself in unknown situations. Team work where I had a work position of a doctor was a great experience for me. As it was not possible to understand the patient every time, I had to pay more attention to body language.  Facial expressions and painful positions or change of voice  helped us make a diagnosis. The work required mainly knowledge and skills of general medicine, which was a great benefit for me as a student of general medicine. It gave me another view of Greece and an approach of its residents to the migrant policy. My biggest experience was a whole practice there and a bus ride to Greece." 

Tereza Vrtělová, student - 5th class LF MU (second team, work in mission – 50 hours, participated in the treatment of more than 240 migrants).

Přemysl Vlček (photo: Richard Bouda)."It was a very interesting experience for me. It gave me a closer view of the migrant crisis, especially first hand information that I could see on my own. The man can improve himself in improvisation. It didn’t take anything at all. It was all a great experience, my most intense experience was working with children patients in the camp."

Přemysl Vlček, student – 4th class LF MU (first team, work in mission – 25 hours, participated in treatment of more than 120 migrants).

"I knew from the beginning that I wanted to go there. I felt and still feel the chance as the one and only opportunity to apply general medicine, to collect a lot of experience and meet similar projects to the one I want to go in for. In the future I want to participate in health missions. No doubt my biggest experience was following: one evening in the camp there was a confrontation among local inhabitants, and the situation was very tight, dangerous for people living there and medics as well. It was necessary to help and keep a „clear head“. I think we managed that and it was unforgettable for me."

Eliška Gruberová, student - 4th class LF MU (second team, work in mission – 50 hours, participated in the treatment of more than 240 migrants).

"I felt it would be a good experience. I wanted to know an unknown environment in light of culture and medicine. Furthermore, there was the possibility to get an impression of the present migrant crisis without media and speculation of other experts. The biggest experience was following: the person acting in such an environment has to be a generalist. The doctor has to be able to treat a broken leg, asthma or ear inflammation…"

Eliška Gruberová (photo: Diocesan Caritas of Brno)Martin Zatloukal, grad of LF MU (first team, work in mission – 25 hours, participated in the treatment of more than 120 migrants).

"I knew it would be a good experience. I wanted to know other country, culture, health system and get my own view of the migrant crisis. The work in the camp gave me a lot of practical experience, I learnt to improvise more. Verbal communication was nearly impossible, so I learned to sense body language. I create my own view of Greece and how its residents approach the migrant crisis. It was a great experience. It’s true we went through less and more demanding situations. The most psychical and physical demanding situation was when there was a confrontation among migrants in the camp in the evening. Despite this incident, my biggest experience was working with children. I think that children there behave better than in our country. And the same adults – they appreciated our help and expressed their gratitude after receiving treatment."

Réka Dobosiová, student of LF MU (second team, work in mission – 50 hours, participated in the treatment of more than 240 migrants).