People experiencing homelessness are vulnerable to COVID-19 due to the risk of transmission in shared accommodation settings and barriers to preventive behaviours such as regular handwashing and avoiding contact with others.
In response, the municipality of Athens launched a drive to test the city’s homeless population and prevent an outbreak.
Health professionals from the municipality’s Center for Reception and Solidarity (KYADA), will carry out daily rapid antigen tests.
Last week, 70 rapid antigen tests were carried out on people living rough and on those temporarily housed in municipal facilities, which all came back negative.
Along with tests, the teams continue to offer clothing and food, masks and antiseptics.
The Municipality of Athens has opened a health clinic at KYADA, for the homeless and the poverty-stricken.
The purpose of the Center for Reception and Solidarity of the Municipality of Athens (KYADA) is to address the problems of vulnerable populations affected by poverty and experiencing exclusion and social isolation.
Through its structures, the Reception and Solidarity Center supports approximately 26,000 citizens each month.
The new clinic is located in a renovated space within the main building of KYADA (35 Pireos Street) and includes a drug prescription unit.
“The pandemic hits us all equally, but we are not all equal in dealing with it. That is why all four doctors and 14 nurses of our newly established Social Clinic are at the forefront of protecting all those in need. At 35 Piraeus Street, they provide free prescription drugs, primary care services, thermometry and rapid test to our homeless and needy fellow citizens,” Athens Mayor Kostas Bakoyannis said.
The clinic is equipped with all the necessary medical devices such as oxygen concentrator, cardiograph, defibrillator, nebulizers, otoscope, suction machines, oximeters, sphygmomanometers and glucose meters.
Furthermore, for the first time, the clinic provides KYADA beneficiaries with free prescriptions for medicine related to the medical services offered by the doctors available (pulmonologist, surgeon and psychiatrist).