In times of disaster, pregnant women and infants are very vulnerable. AMURTEL Greece has an all-women team of midwives and support personnel which has been working in refugee camps, squats and other refugee accommodations in the wider Athens metropolitan area since the peak of the refugee crisis in September 2015. The Mother and Baby Centre was founded in Central Athens in September 2016 and is the only woman-to-woman centre of this type in Athens providing all the services as per the Midwifery Model of Care. The Centre provides refugees and migrants women with prenatal care and examinations, preparation for labour, post-natal care, and breast-feeding/infant-feeding consultation as well as providing a safe, clean and caring environment for women to come and relax in.
Over half the women coming to us are from Syria or Afghanistan requiring most of our work to be done through the dedication of our Arabic and Farsi interpreters, both paid staff and volunteers, some of them refugees themselves.
Each month AMURTEL Greece gives midwifery and infant feeding services to around 370 women with another 200 coming for distribution items. Their distribution team is consistently hard at work sourcing and distributing a few items of need such as nappies (more than 5000/month), food for pregnant and lactating mothers, baby kits for newborns, baby carriers, and last but not least, underwear for women who are only able to ask in an all women setting.
AMURTEL Greece’s current target is not only the continuation of their current services but initiating programs which include the refugee/migrant women themselves. Rather than being primarily the recipients of care, they aim to train mothers in the basic perinatal care to equip them to facilitate peer-to-peer support groups and educational classes. Using knowledge and skills the women already possess as well as what AMURTEL staff are able to impart, the goal is to have a thriving, fully multicultural women’s space centred around the needs and aspirations of mothers and babies in the very crucial and fleeting period from conception to the end of the first year and a half of life.