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A joint mission to assess the public health situation of migrants in Greek detention centres was undertaken in April 2011 by the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC) and the World Health Organization (WHO) Regional Office for Europe. The assessment visit follows the increased migration to the Evros prefecture, Eastern Macedonia and Thrace region, at the Greek-Turkish border where large numbers of migrants are entering Greece via the Evros River, a natural border. Migrants are housed in local detention centres. The main problem in detention centres are the substandard hygiene conditions, especially overcrowding and lack of personal hygiene facilities, lack of basic supplies and lack of access to fresh air and physical exercise. As the migration route via the Evros region is increasingly used since 2009, and due to the unstable political situation in North Africa and the Middle East, an increased influx of migrants was to be expected with the falling water levels of the Evros River in summer, resulting in further deterioration of the already critical situation in the Thrace region's detention centres.


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