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Faculty of Public & One Health, University of Thessaly supports Flood Victims in Karditsa
Author: Department of Public and One Health, School of Health Sciences
Voluntary Support from the Faculty of Public and One Health of the University of Thessaly for the Flood Victims of the Municipality of Karditsa
From the first 24 hours following the devastating passage of Storm Daniel through Karditsa and its adjacent regions, the Faculty of Public and One Health (FOH) of the University of Thessaly took immediate and organized action. While search and rescue operations by the relevant services were still underway, our Faculty commenced its support and relief efforts for the affected residents by taking several key actions.
Communication and Information Gathering
Our first priority was to establish reliable communication channels to gather accurate information about the evolving situation. The Faculty reached out to Mrs. Maria Tsialkoutis, the Head of the Department of Public Health Unit of the Municipality of Karditsa, to determine suitable voluntary actions. Within two days of the incident's conclusion, our Faculty had already organized an immediate shipment of hygiene items and dry food via Athens, in anticipation of a potential temporary shortage of food and basic necessities in Karditsa.
Student Volunteer Efforts
Student volunteer activities were carefully coordinated under the Department’s supervision, with a focus on ensuring the safety and physical well-being of all participants.
On-Site Assessment and Crisis Management
After conducting an on-site evaluation and gathering immediate information on the crisis management efforts in Karditsa, we identified two main areas for involvement: a) Voluntary actions of a humanitarian nature by our students in the city of Karditsa, and b) Targeted interventions in the city of Palamas, specifically at the Municipality's indoor gymnasium and the Palamas Health Center, which suffered extensive damage.
Coordination with Municipal Authorities
After consulting with the municipal authorities of Palamas and receiving updates from the coordinating physician, we initiated the distribution of first aid and essential items. In addition, a knowledge exchange took place with the "Global Health-Disaster Medicine" unit of the EKPA Department of Medicine, under the directorship of Professor Emmanuel Pikoulis, who is also the Dean of the School of Health Sciences EKPA.
While the volume of our initial supplies may not fully reflect the scale of the disaster, they were carefully chosen to meet the most immediate and practical needs, particularly concerning the preservation of public health. Our Faculty, utilizing the resources available, aimed to bolster the existing health infrastructure in accordance with established practices for managing health crises.
First Mission Supplies
During our initial relief mission, the Department supplied the following from its own stock:
- 12 cans of hand sanitizers and alcoholic surface cleaning solutions,
- 12 packs of 100 gloves each,
- 3 packs of masks, hand towels, foot pads, and disposable overalls,
- A laptop for electronic prescriptions that had been disrupted due to the damages.
These supplies were received by the coordinating physician of Palamas Health Center, Dr. Dimitrios Bezas.
Distribution in Palamas
During the distribution phase in Palamas, the following items were offered:
- 6 cans of hand sanitizers and alcoholic surface cleaning solutions,
- Baby and feminine hygiene items, as well as food,
- A considerable amount of clothing, bed linen, and cleaning items,
- Personal hygiene items, generously contributed by our students through coordination by the student association.
Ongoing Support and Future Plans
The Department remains vigilant and continues to consult with the municipal authorities of Palamas and the relevant healthcare facilities. Preparations are already being made for the next batch of supplies.
Special thanks are extended to the students, faculty, and particularly to Assistant Professor C. Tsiamis, who coordinated the efforts, as well as to the administrative staff for their steadfast support and commitment. Our deepest gratitude also goes to Professor Billinis, the Rector of the University of Thessaly, for his invaluable assistance and support from the very beginning.
Dean of the Faculty of Public and One Health
University of Thessaly