On the heels of the Paris attacks, debate rages over how to respond to the thousands of people fleeing across borders to escape violent conflict in places like Syria. But after seeing news reports of desperate refugees sailing to Europe in search of relief, American physician Meena Hasan felt compelled to help.
Just months after beginning a new job with Kaiser Permanente in Gaithersburg, Maryland, north of Washington, Hasan recently spent a week of her vacation volunteering with Salaam Cultural Museum, treating people arriving in Lesbos, Greece.
“I felt like I needed to help,” Hasan said. “I felt like I needed to make a difference and do my part.”
Hasan says she provided a range of care, from treating colds and giving out medications for diabetes or high blood pressure to performing CPR on people injured in boat accidents.
Despite the migrants’ harrowing journeys, Hasan said she noticed their resilience and gratitude. That’s made it tougher for her to hear negative comments about refugees in the media since her return to the United States.