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Dublin-based Dr Emer O’Reilly has visited the camps and is helping to organise Irish doctors to make the trip across to volunteer.
“No specific kind of doctor [is needed]; we work as first aiders only, because we are not registered with the Medical Council in France,” she says.
“But GPs are the most useful people — also, A&E nurses are fantastic.
“We were looking after thousands of refugees in the camp. The work was a lot of minor illnesses, but in some really immunosuppressed people the occasional need for really good clinical skills.”
The organisation involved in this work is a voluntary group organised by some “amazing young English people — they stunned me with their generosity and dedication. It’s called ‘Refugee Support First Aid and Care Team’ on Facebook”.
It is clear that there is a real need for medical volunteers in the French camp, Dr O’Reilly said.
“You can stay as long as you like. Most of the volunteers come over from the UK at weekends only. Some of them once a month, but longer is better. Most Irish people go for a week.”
Contact Facebook ‘Refugee Support First Aid and Care Team’ or Dr O’Reilly at firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.