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Luxembourg: launching a “street nurse” service, about a hundred homeless people taken care of

(Foto caritas.lu)

Last November, Caritas Luxembourg launched a “street nurse” service that in just a few weeks approached about a hundred homeless people and started more specific medical programmes for about twenty of them: “There are many homeless people who have not received any medical care for years, even if they would need treatment, but do not dare ask for help or do not know who to go to”, the volunteers tell on the pages of Caritas today. Some of them have multiple diseases and therefore are more vulnerable in this Covid climate. As well as providing minor nursing services, such as disinfecting wounds, the healthcare team tries to listen to their needs, raise awareness of hygienic issues, and if needed assist them through their treatment. Coordinated by Caritas’ Laurie Gatley, the initiative is supported by a few welfare and medical organisations, partly in partnership with “Œuvre Nationale de Secours Grande-Duchesse Charlotte”. It is important “to go in the streets where the homeless live instead of asking them to come to us”, Gatley explains, because these people have fewer problems accepting than asking for help. The idea behind this project is to turn street nurses into permanent roles in Luxembourg, “because that is essential if we want homeless people to be comprehensively taken care of and have access to healthcare”.

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