Translated text from the Greek Newspaper "Eleftherotypia"
Saturday 2 February 2013
The Metropolitan Community Clinic at Hellinko is extending a lifeline to the St. Anargyri residential facility in Kantza, home to fifty-two people. The residents, aged ten to sixty-two years old, have serious mental and motor disabilities. The volunteer doctors of MCCH are caring for 100’s of our fellow citizens every day. Now they have pitched in to help St. Anargyri, while the official social security service – EOPYY - has evaded its responsibility, in spite of the fact that they owe the facility some 300,000 Euro for care. The situation at the institution for the last few months has been tragic. Despite the appeals from the management of St. Anargyri to the government, no solution has been found.
“A team from The Metropolitan Community Clinic at Hellinko (MCCH) visited at the invitation of director of the institution in order to document the needs of the residents,” cardiologist George Vichas told us. “Our team has analyzed the tragic shortcomings of the institution. There is a lack of medication, doctors, physiotherapists and psychologists. At this point, the facility does not have one physiotherapist, and that results in the already bad motor skills of the residents worsening day by day. There is only one psychologist, - not enough to cover the needs of all the residents, and this is quite serious. There is one general practitioner, but no doctors of other specialties to cover health problems which may present themselves. For example an orthopedist for injuries from a fall, which is likely because of lack of motor skills of the residents.”
MCCH will try to cover the monthly needs of S. Anargyri as far as medicine and medical care in all the required fields. They will also arrange for a physiotherapist to visit the residence and resume daily physiotherapy, which is essential in such cases. Finally, psychologists from MCCH will assist the solitary existing psychologist in his heavy task.
“The help from the people of the Community Clinic is a God-send,” says Mrs. Eleftheria Zervaki-Smyrneou, President of the Association of Parents and Guardians of Retarded Residents of St. Anargyri. “Our organization is non-profit, and not financed by the state. To function, it relies on the voluntary participation of the parents. It is supervised by the Ministry of Health and Social welfare. It looks after 52 children who are autistic, with Down Syndrome and a wide variety of psycho-kinetic disabilities. Many of them have no parents. The funds for St. Anargeri come exclusively from the Social Security Services (EOPYY) and the monthly contribution of the parents. Currently, EOPPY owes us 300,000 Euro. We find ourselves on the brink of misery because we lack basic supplies, including food, medicine, diapers bottled gas and electricity. All of this endangers the survival of the children. Our staff of 36 dedicated individuals has not received wages in the last four months. Our food suppliers are threatening to stop providing us. Can you imagine what it will be here when there is no food, no medicine, no diapers, no bottled-gas?”