Health for all!
Thursday 6 May 2021
For more than 6 months now, a team of nurses from Caritas Luxembourg has been visiting the streets of the capital to meet homeless people. Their objective is always the same: to get them to take care of their health. Because many people living on the streets suffer from serious illnesses that need to be treated.
"Being on the street often means not having any medical care at all. The body, and health in particular, is not a priority," confides Laurie Gatley, a community health nurse who visits the streets of the city every week to meet homeless people. "Illnesses that could easily have been treated with basic care get worse, and turn into chronic conditions. And the person becomes extremely vulnerable. Our job is to prevent this from happening. We do everything we can to ensure that the person living on the street can seek treatment in complete serenity. Very often, especially with this population, there is an accumulation of problems. So it's not just a matter of referring them to a doctor, but of accompanying them and providing overall monitoring of their state of health, in order to deal with all the problems," she explains.
We do everything we can to ensure that the person living on the street can seek treatment in complete serenity.
And the effects of the health crisis are obviously being felt particularly strongly. "It is clear that Covid has increased precariousness. Already because living in a community increases the risk of contagion. But also because the problems linked to mental health have multiplied," adds the nurse. Barrier measures are often applied but not fully understood. "For example, people put on a mask to talk to each other, but they drink from the same bottle, because they don't have cups or flasks. So we need to explain better why these distancing measures are important and how to apply them properly. Awareness-raising is extremely important in this respect. We have already seen this with the flu vaccination this winter, and it will also be the case with the vaccination campaign against the Coronavirus", concludes Laurie Gatley.
To help people living on the streets during this difficult period, and to support the projects of Caritas Luxembourg more widely, you can make a donation by transfer to the account (CCPL) IBAN LU34 1111 0000 2020 0000 or directly below.