EMERGENCY’S NEW MATERNITY CENTRE OPENS IN AFGHANISTAN
On Thursday 8 December, EMERGENCY inaugurates the new building at the Maternity Centre in Anabah, Afghanistan. The expansion of the existing Maternity, which opened in 2003, will enable the organisation to further improve the medical assistance provided to mothers and children living in the Panjshir Valley and surrounding Provinces.
Over the years, EMERGENCY’s Maternity Centre has become a focal point for the local population, reaching an average of more than 500 deliveries per month. In order to provide even more efficient and effective medical care to the growing number of patients, EMERGENCY started working on expanding the existing facilities in 2015. The construction works and the facility set-up have lasted for over one year for an overall cost of € 1.5 million, bringing together the work of different professionals and technicians from Afghanistan and Europe.
The new Maternity Centre is a state-of-art hospital, furnished with high quality biomedical equipment and includes 1 new operating block with 4 delivery rooms, 2 operating theatres, 1 intensive care unit, 1 neonatal sub-intensive care unit, 1 intensive care unit for women with complications during delivery, 1 outpatient clinic, 1 gynaecological ward, an area dedicated to follow-ups and one for women in labour.
In Afghanistan, where maternal mortality rate amounts to 396 for 100,000 live births, mothers’ and children’s health is a daily emergency; for many women, EMERGENCY’s Maternity Centre is the only chance they have to access specialist medical care during pregnancy and thus represents the best hope for delivering their babies in safety and being attended by skilled health staff.
The Maternity Centre in Anabah also runs an antenatal program aimed at monitoring pregnancies in order to promptly identify complications. Finally, the specialisation school at the Maternity Centre, where Afghan Female Doctors can complete programmes in gynaecology, is recognised by the Afghan Ministry of Health.
A significant part of the work of EMERGENCY’s international staff in Anabah is training local staff – formed by around 90 people, all of them women – both on practical and theoretical levels.
Starting from 16 December, the new Maternity Centre in Anabah will be fully operational to respond to the increasing needs of the local population and capable of providing care for more than 600 women per month.
EMERGENCY has been working in Afghanistan since 1999, providing medical and surgical care to war victims in its 3 Surgical Centres (Anabah, Kabul, Lashkar-gah) and in its network of 40 First Aid Post and Primary Healthcare Centres across the country. The Maternity Centre has been operating since 2003 and has provided more than 200,000 women with medical care. More than 37,000 babies have been born at the centre since it opened.
(Dicember 08, 2016)
EMERGENCY NGO & MOAS partner up to provide rescue and medical care to migrants in the Mediterranean
A joint operation by EMERGENCY NGO, humanitarian organisation which provides medical care, and Migrant Offshore Aid Station (MOAS) is leaving Malta today aboard the Topaz Responder, a search and rescue vessel which will patrol the world's deadliest migrant crossing: the central Mediterranean.
More than 2.000 people have already died in 2016 attempting the crossing: in May, 1.138 people died or went missing in a single week attempting to reach Europe. With today's launch, more desperate people seeking refuge in Europe will be rescued and given expert medical care.
EMERGENCY NGO will be operating from the MOAS vessel Topaz Responder to guarantee the post rescue assistance, in particular medical care and cultural mediation for the rescued migrants.
The team is composed by 6 people including doctors, nurses, cultural mediators and a coordinator.
MOAS' Responder is 52 metres long, equipped with two high-speed rescue boats, a 20-strong professional crew of seafarers, rescuers, doctors and nurses as well as a fully-stocked clinic to provide emergency search, rescue and medical care.
"No one deserves to die at sea and yet last month was one of the deadliest on record with as many as 1,000 having perished in the Mediterranean. Hundreds more will continue to die unless we bolster the professional search and rescue effort," said MOAS founder Christopher Catrambone. "Our partners on board ensure that excellent post rescue care is provided to migrants who have already endured severe trauma".
So far, the Migrant Offshore Aid Station has saved the life of over 13,000 people.
"For more than 20 years, EMERGENCY has been working in war and poverty torn countries. Thus, we know very well what these people are fleeing from when they take a boat in the attempt to reach Europe", said EMERGENCY President, Cecilia Strada. "For two years, we've been working at the Sicilian ports offering medical assistance to those who land. And today we are happy to bring our experience and expertise at sea, together with MOAS".
So far, EMERGENCY NGO has assisted over 20.000 migrants landed in Sicily, with its team working in the ports of Pozzallo, Augusta and Porto Empedocle.
EMERGENCY NGO is an independent organization that provides free, high quality medical and surgical treatment to the victims of war, landmines and poverty and promotes a culture of peace and respect for human rights.
Since its inception, over 7 million people have received free, high quality health care by EMERGENCY NGO.
Migrant Offshore Aid Station (MOAS)
MOAS is a registered foundation consisting of professional search and rescue crew, onshore staff and supported by a global network of supporters. It works to mitigate the loss of life at sea along the world's deadliest migrant routes because no one deserves to die at sea. Since its inception MOAS has assisted over 13,000 migrants and refugees in distress.
For interviews requests to the EMERGENCY team please contact:
Simonetta Gola, +39 348 3034282, email@example.com;
Valeria Brigida, +39 348 9582943, firstname.lastname@example.org;
For interviews requests please to the MOAS team please contact:
Anne Kennedy, +35679900097; email@example.com.
For images please visit the press section on www.moas.eu.
(June 6, 2016)
EMERGENCY ON THE IMMIGRANTS AGREEMENT
The agreement between the European Union and Turkey reveals the complete inability of European leaders to deal with the humanitarian migrant crisis.
The EU decisions are based on a concern to defend each country's own borders rather than guarantee protection for those fleeing from war and despair.
This bookkeeping entry method denies people the right to search for refuge and protection when they need it, in practice taking away the chance for thousands of people to live in a decent manner.
We're asking the Union to handle this crisis in a responsible way, opening up safe and legal passages for those trying to get into Europe. We're also asking for a commitment to examine the causes behind the flight of these people.
The only chance of survival for the European Union is to return to its founding premise of the defence of human rights, and to recognise those rights for the most vulnerable.
(March 21, 2016)
Hospitalised patients need treatment, respite, and care: not more bombs and violence. But, once again, a hospital has become a target. Bombing a hospital is always an unacceptable act of violence. Hospitals need to be able to provide medical care and treat the wounded. They must be respected by everyone involved in the fighting, as written in the Geneva Conventions. There are no conditions under which this is justified, and humanity as a whole must not tolerate this.
(February 16, 2016)
ABOLISHING WAR IS URGENTLY NEEDED, AND THIS IS ACHIEVABLE
Here's the complete text and the link to the video of Gino Strada's acceptance speech at the Right Livelihood Award 2015 (the "Alternative Nobel Prize") ceremony.
Honourable Members of the Parliament, honourable members of the Swedish Government, members of the RLA Foundation, fellow Laureates, Excellences, friends, ladies and gentlemen.
It is a honour for me to receive this prestigious award, that I consider a sign of appreciation for the outstanding work that the humanitarian organization EMERGENCY has done in the past 21 years in favour of the victims of war and poverty.
I am a surgeon. I have seen the wounded (and the dead) in several conflicts in Asia, in Africa, in the Middle East, in Latin America and in Europe. I have performed surgery on several thousands of people, injured by bullets, by shrapnel from bombs or rockets.
Thank you very much.
In Quetta, the Pakistani city close to the Afghan border, I met victims of antipersonnel mines for the first time. I performed surgery on many children injured by the so-called "toy mines"; small plastic green butterflies the size of a pack of cigarettes. Scattered in the fields, these weapons wait for a curious child to pick them up and play with for a while, until the detonation occurs: one or both hands are blown away, burns over the chest, the face and the eyes. Armless and blind children. I still have vivid memories of those victims, and the view of those atrocities changed my life.
It took me time to accept the idea that a "war strategy" could include practices like deliberately targeting and maiming children in the "enemy's country". Weapons designed not to kill but to inflict horrific suffering upon innocent children and posing a terrible burden to their families and their society.
For me, even today, those children are the living symbol of contemporary wars, a persistent form of terrorism against the civilian populations.
A few years later, in Kabul, I went through the files of about 1,200 patients, and discovered that less than 10 percent of them were likely to be combatants. Ninety percent of the victims were civilians, one third of them children. Are they "the enemy"? Who pays the price of war?
In the past century, the percentage of civilian casualties has dramatically increased from approximately 15% in WWI to more than 60% in WWII. And in the more than 160 "major conflicts" that the planet has experienced after the end of WWII, that took the lives of more than 25 million people, the percentage of civilian victims has consistently been around ninety percent of the total, very much like the data from the afghan conflict.
Working in war torn regions for more than 25 years, I have witnessed this cruel and sad reality, perceived the magnitude of this social tragedy, of this carnage of civilians, mostly occurring in areas with almost non-existent health facilities.
Over the years, EMERGENCY has built and run surgical hospitals for war victims in Rwanda, in Cambodia, in Iraq, in Afghanistan, in Sierra Leone and in many other countries, then expanded its medical activities to include pediatric and maternity centers, rehabilitation centers, clinics and first-aid posts.
The origin and foundation of EMERGENCY back in 1994, did not derive from a set of principles and declarations. Rather, It was conceived on operating tables and in hospital wards. Treating the wounded is neither generous nor merciful, it is only just. It has to be done.
In 21 years of activity, EMERGENCY has provided medical and surgical assistance to more than 6,5 million people. A drop in the ocean - you might say - but that drop has made a difference for many. Somehow it has also changed the lives of those who have shared the experience of EMERGENCY, like me.
Every time, in the different conflicts we have been working in, regardless of who was fighting against whom and for what reason, the result was always the same: war was nothing but killing of civilians, death, destruction . The tragedy of the victims is the only truth of war.
Confronted daily with this dreadful truth, we embraced the idea of a community where human relationships are founded on solidarity and mutual respect.
Indeed, this was the hope shared worldwide in the aftermath of the Second World War. This hope led to the establishment of the United Nations, as stated in the Preamble of the UN Charter: "to save succeeding generations from the scourge of war, which twice in our lifetime has brought untold sorrow to mankind, and to reaffirm faith in fundamental human rights, in the dignity and worth of the human person, in the equal rights of men and women and of nations large and small."
The indissoluble link between human rights and peace and the relation of mutual exclusion between war and rights were also stressed in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, signed in 1948. "All human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights" and the "recognition of the equal and inalienable rights of all members of the human family is the foundation of freedom, justice and peace in the world."
70 years later that Declaration sounds provocative, offensive and clearly false. So far not one among the signatory States has completely implemented the universal rights they had committed to: the right to a dignified life, to a job and a home, to education and health care. In one word, the right to social justice. At the beginning of the new millennium there are no rights for all, but privileges for a few.
The single and most aberrant, widespread and persistent violation of human rights is the practice of war, in all its forms. By denying the right to stay alive, war denies all human rights.
I would like to stress once again that in most countries ravaged by violence those who pay the price are women and men like us, nine times out of ten. We shall never forget this.
In the month of November 2015 alone, more than 4000 civilians have been killed in several countries including Afghanistan, Egypt, France, Iraq, Libya, Mali, Nigeria, Syria, Somalia. Many more people have been wounded and maimed, or forced to flee from their homes.
Being a witness to the atrocities of war, I have seen how turning to violence has most of the times only brought in more violence and suffering. War is an act of terrorism, and terrorism is an act of war: they share a common denominator, the use of violence.
Sixty years later, we are still confronted with the dilemma posed in 1955 by leading world scientists in the so called Russell-Einstein Manifesto: "Shall we put an end to the human race; or shall mankind renounce war?." Can we have a world without war to guarantee a future to the human race?
Many would argue that wars have always existed. This is true but it does not prove in any way that the recourse to war is inevitable, nor can we assume that a world without war is unachievable. The fact that war has marked our past does not mean that it has to be part of our future as well. As with illnesses, war should be considered as a problem to solve, not as our destiny.
As a doctor, I could compare war with cancer. Cancer vexes humanity and claims many victims: does this mean that all efforts of medicine are useless? On the contrary, it is exactly the persistence of this devastating disease that prompts us to increase the efforts to prevent and defeat it.
Conceiving a world without war is the most stimulating task that the human race is facing. It is also the most urgent. Atomic scientists, through their Doomsday clock, are warning the human race: "The clock ticks now at just three minutes to midnight because international leaders are failing to perform their most important duty—ensuring and preserving the health and vitality of human civilization."
The biggest challenge for the coming decades is to imagine, design and implement the conditions that will allow us to reduce the recourse to force and to mass violence until they fully disappear. War, just like deadly diseases, has to be prevented and cured. Violence is not the right medicine: it does not cure the disease, it kills the patient."
The abolition of war is the first indispensable step in this direction. We may call it utopia, as it has never occurred before. However, the term utopia does not designate something absurd, but rather a possibility that still has to be explored and accomplished.
Many years ago even the abolition of slavery seemed "utopian". In the XVIII century the "possession of slaves" was deemed as "normal". A massive movement - gathering hundreds of million citizens over the years, decades and centuries - changed the perception of slavery: today we repel the idea of human beings chained and reduced to slavery. That utopia became true.
A world without war is another utopia we cannot wait any longer to see materialized.
We must convince millions of people that abolishing war is urgently needed and achievable. This must penetrate deeply into our consciousness, until the idea of war becomes a taboo, expelled from human history.
Receiving the Right Livelihood Award encourages me personally, and Emergency as a whole, to multiply our efforts: caring for the victims and promoting a cultural movement for the abolition of war.
I take this opportunity to appeal to you all, to the community of the RLA laureates to join forces and support this initiative. Working together for a world without war is the best we can do for the generations to come.
Thank you very much.
-- Gino Strada, EMEGRENCY NGO Founder, Stockholm, November 30, 2015
EMERGENCY'S FOUNDER GINO STRADA RECEIVES THE RIGHT LIVELIHOOD AWARD: 'THE ALTERNATIVE NOBEL PRIZE' IN STOCKHOLM
Today at the Swedish Parliament in Stockholm, EMERGENCY's founder Gino Strada received the Right Livelihood Award: 'The Alternative Nobel Prize', 'for his great humanity and skill in providing outstanding medical and surgical services to the victims of conflict and injustice, while fearlessly addressing the causes of war'.
The Right Livelihood Award was established in 1980 to honour and support those offering practical and exemplary solutions to the most urgent challenges facing us today. It is the first time that an Italian citizen has been awarded the prize.
In front of the Swedish Members of Parliament, Gino Strada made a strong appeal to the international community.
"I am a surgeon. I have seen the wounded (and the dead) in several conflicts in Asia, in Africa, in the Middle East, in Latin America and in Europe. I have performed surgery on several thousands of people, injured by bullets, by shrapnel from bombs or rockets."
"A few years ago, in Kabul, I went through the files of about 1,200 patients, and discovered that less than 10% of them were likely to be combatants. 90% of the victims were civilians, and one third of them children. Are they "the enemy"? Who pays the price of war?"
"The origin and foundation of EMERGENCY back in 1994, did not derive from a set of principles and declarations. Rather, it was conceived on operating tables and in hospital wards. Treating the wounded is neither generous nor merciful, it is only just. It has to be done."
"Over the past century, the percentage of civilian casualties has dramatically increased from approximately 15% in WWI to more than 60% in WWII. And in the more than 160 'major conflicts' that the planet has experienced after the end of WWII, that took the lives of more than 25 million people, the percentage of civilian victims has consistently been around 90% of the total, very much like the data from the Afghan conflict."
"Sixty years later, we are still confronted with the dilemma posed in 1955 by leading world scientists in the so called Russell-Einstein Manifesto: 'Shall we put an end to the human race; or shall mankind renounce war?'. Can we have a world without war to guarantee a future to the human race? Many would argue that wars have always existed. This is true but it does not prove in any way that the recourse to war is inevitable, nor can we assume that a world without war is unachievable. The fact that war has marked our past does not mean that it has to be part of our future as well.
As with illnesses, war should be considered as a problem to solve, not as our destiny.
"The greatest challenge for the coming decades is to imagine, design and implement the conditions that will allow us to reduce the recourse to force and to mass violence until they fully disappear. War, just like deadly diseases, has to be prevented and cured. Violence is not the right medicine: it does not cure the disease, it kills the patient."
"The abolition of war is the first indispensable step in this direction. We may call it utopia, as it has never occurred before. However, the term utopia does not designate something absurd, but rather a possibility that still has to be explored and accomplished. We must convince millions of people that abolishing war is urgently needed and that this is achievable. This must penetrate deeply into our consciousness, until the idea of war becomes a taboo, expelled from human history."
(November 30, 2015)
THE POPE VISITS THE CENTRAL AFRICAN REPUBLIC
The Pope's visit to the #CentralAfricanRepublic is an important event for all of those who, like EMERGENCY, have been working in the country for years. Finally, media attention will be drawn to the country that went trough an horrendous civil war which is still a real menace for the civilian population. As in any armed conflict, the high majority of victims are children who are the ones who suffer the most from violence and poverty. EMERGENCY hopes that the peace message #Pope Francis is bringing to the Continent will be heard: the Central African Republic is in need of peace and hope.
(November 29, 2015)
IN GERNADA, LIBYA, EMERGENCY NGO'S NEW WAR SURGERY HOSPITAL
On Monday 12th October, EMERGENCY NGO opened a Surgical Centre for War Victims in Gernada, Libya.
EMERGENCY's intervention was requested four months ago by the Ministry of Health of the government of Tobruk (stationed in Al-Bayda), to guarantee treatment for war victims forces in the areas of Benghazi and Derna, where ISIS-affiliated militias and government forces are fighting.
The Surgical Centre for War Victims
The war in Libya began in 2011 and has since seriously damaged the country's healthcare system: there's a lack of resources and personnel needed for basic and specialised assistance, even for the most vulnerable groups such as children.
At the beginning of the conflict, foreign medical staff - fundamental for the healthcare system to work properly - left the Country, and most of the local personnel escaped or were dismissed from their roles.
The reduction in oil exports and the crash of the financial system have had a devastating effect on the country's economy, leading to a dramatic fall in the funds available for health.
The progressive deterioration of safety conditions prevents those who need treatment from being able to access it, especially in the areas of Benghazi, Derna, Zintane and Kikla.
That's why, last June, the Ministry of Health of the Tobruk government made hospital facilities in the village of Gernada (about 70km from Derna and 150km from Benghazi) available to EMERGENCY. The staff of EMERGENCY fitted out the structure and brought it up to EMERGENCY's standards: the hospital now has two operating theatres, an X-ray room, an intensive care ward, a laboratory, an emergency area and 18 beds for patients.
At the Centre, the NGO’s international staff works alongside the local staff nominated by the Ministry of Health.
Apart from treating war victims, the EMERGENCY staff will also train local staff and manage activities until conditions of working autonomy have been reached.
To maintain its neutral position (as in all its projects), EMERGENCY has established contacts in recent months with the authorities of Zintane and Misurata too, supplying medicines as requested.
Other EMERGENCY NGO projects in Libya
In 2011, during the first month of the conflict, EMERGENCY sent two war surgery teams to assist the Hikmat hospital and the Zarrok field hospital of the city of Misurata, which was already under siege.
(October 17, 2015)
EMERGENCY EXPRESSES SOLIDARITY WITH MÉDICINES SANS FRONTIÈRES AND CONDEMNS THE ATTACK TO THEIR HOSPITAL IN KUNDUZ
EMERGENCY expresses solidarity with Médicines Sans Frontières (MSF) and strongly condemns the NATO attack against the MSF hospital in Kunduz, Afghanistan.
Bombing a hospital is an unacceptable act of violence. A hospital is a place of shelter for the wounded and the sick and must be respected as such. This is only possible if all the parties to the conflict respect hospitals, in line with the Geneva Conventions.
Operations are underway to transfer some of the wounded to EMERGENCY’s Surgical Centre in Kabul. EMERGENCY remains available for support to MSF and the entire population of Kunduz, and will provide treatment to any other patients evacuated from the city.
EMERGENCY - which operates 3 hospitals, 1 maternity centre and 45 first aid posts in Afghanistan - is very worried about the deteriorating security situation in the country. There is now active fighting in 25 out of 34 provinces and a constant and dramatic increase of war-related civilian casualties. Afghanistan is plummeting into deeper violence and further instability. This makes it increasingly difficult to guarantee the continuity of humanitarian activities, and poses a real threat to the Afghan population.
(October 3, 2015)
GINO STRADA WINNER OF THE RIGHT LIVELIHOOD AWARD, THE ALTERNATIVE NOBEL PRIZE
Gino Strada, founder of EMERGENCY, will receive the Right Livelihood Award “...for his great humanity and skill in providing outstanding medical and surgical services to the victims of conflict and injustice, while fearlessly addressing the causes of war.”
The announcement was made today at the International Press Centre of the Foreign Affairs Office in Stockholm.
Established in 1980, the Right Livelihood Award is presented every year to the Swedish Parliament. It's more commonly known as the “Alternative Nobel Prize”, to “to honour and support those offering practical and exemplary answers to the most urgent challenges facing us today”.
This year, the Foundation received and examined 128 proposals from 53 countries. As of today, 162 people from 67 different countries have received the Right Livelihood Award. This is the first time the award has been given to an Italian candidate.
Together with Gino Strada, awards will also go to Sheila Watt-Cloutier (Canada) for the defence of the Arctic, and to Kasha Jacqueline Nabagesera (Uganda) for the defence of LGBTI rights. The honorary award will be presented to Tony de Brum and the people of the Marshall Islands for their anti-nuclear commitment.
«Receiving the Right Livelihood Award is a honour and a big emotion» says Gino Strada.
«More than 20 years ago, EMERGENCY was founded to provide healthcare to people suffering the consequences of war and poverty.
In these years, we’ve been by the victims’s side and we’ve faced the war and its logic of oppression. We’ve built hospitals and we’ve fought in order that any people could have the right to receive healthcare.
We’ve treated more than 6 million people, without any discrimination, certain that healthcare is a fundamental human right.
Today, in the world, inequality between few riches and many poors is increased and the third world war, actually, has already begun. Other deads, other woundeds, other sufferings.
EMERGENCY is still working in Iraq, in Afghanistan and in some of the most devastated countries of the planet, but we can’t stay defenceless in front of these indiscriminate killings.
Humanity has done extraordinary progresses in many fields, from technology to medicine; now it’s the time to commit to an undeniable aim: to ban war from history.
It’s the time to work on behalf of the next generations, to plant seeds, even if we know we’re not going to see the outcome.
It’s the time to nourish a different culture, founded on equality and the respect of human rights: the alternative is the barbarity we have in front of us and to which we can’t succumb».
The awards will be presented during a ceremony to be held in Stockholm on 30th November 2015, organized by the Society for the Right Livelihood Award of the Swedish Parliament.
(October 1, 2015)
IN NAPLES, A NEW EMERGENCY NGO CLINIC FOR PEOPLE IN NEED
Today, the 1st of September, a new EMERGENCY NGO Clinic started activities in Naples (Southern Italy).
The building, located near the public park "Fratelli De Filippo" in the Ponticelli area, was given by the Municipality of Naples and renovated and equipped by EMERGENCY, with the contribution of the Tavola Valdese and using the funds collected with the SMS donation campaign "La salute è un diritto di tutti" ("Health is a right for everyone").
It's precisely this firm belief that underlies all EMERGENCY's work in Italy, where the right to be treated is recognised by law but, in practice, is inaccessible for a growing number of people (both foreigners and Italians) who have no access to medical care.
The Clinic will be open from Monday to Friday, 9 am to 6 pm, offering basic healthcare services free of charge along with social-medical counselling on how to access the national health service for people who have difficulties in accessing it. In addition, a clinic is available for injections, the assessment of vital health indicators, and monitoring of therapy and medication.
The work of the clinic should also help curb the number of unnecessary visits to A&E local facilities, thereby reducing the long waiting times and over-stretched services in those departments.
"We're pleased about the opening of the Ponticelli clinic - the outcome of an agreement with the Municipality of Naples. We're working more and more here in Italy to offer treatment and assistance so that the more vulnerable groups can obtain healthcare too, without any sort of discrimination" says Cecilia Strada, president of EMERGENCY NGO.
EMERGENCY began working in Italy almost ten years ago, playing its part in the sphere of immigration and social hardship.
In 2006, EMERGENCY opened an Outpatient Clinic in Palermo to provide free healthcare for migrants. Today, EMERGENCY is working in another 6 Italian cities - Marghera, Polistena, Castel Volturno, Naples, Bologna and Milan. With its mobile clinics, EMERGENCY offers free medical treatment in the countryside of southern Italy and to the migrants that arrive on the shores of Sicily.
"It felt like a dream, but tomorrow it will all be real. The local authority has given its full backing to the scheme, and as of tomorrow there'll be not only a clinic in Ponticelli but also a place of solidarity and welcome based on a concern for others, for those who're left behind because of poverty and need. Our thanks to EMERGENCY for really believing in this project, together with us" said the Mayor of Naples, Luigi de Magistris.
(September 1, 2015)
EMERGENCY expresses solidarity with MSF for the armed attack to its Kunduz Trauma Centre, Afghanistan
Hospitals are places of care, which must be in the condition to offer to all the patients the assistance they need without any political, religious, economical discrimination.
This is possible only if hospitals are recognized as neutral places from all the factions involved in the conflict and if - for this same reason - they're respected, as stated by the humanitarian law.
EMERGENCY, who's been working in Afghanistan from 1999, is highly worried by the increasing deterioration of the security conditions in the country, which are mining also the humanitarian operators' activities to the detriment of the afghan population. With the inevitable suspension of the activities of the Kunduz Trauma Centre, the afghan population will be once again suffering the consequences of this act of war.
Click here to read the original press release.
(July 6, 2015)
EBOLA: AN EMERGENCY NGO NURSE HAS TESTED POSITIVE
A nurse who worked at EMERGENCY NGO's Ebola Treatment Centre in Sierra Leone has tested positive to the disease.
As soon as the first symptoms appeared, in the late evening of Sunday 10th May, our colleague applied the isolation procedures as laid down by both Health Ministry protocols and EMERGENCY's own guidelines.
The worker monitored his condition at regular intervals, thereby ensuring quick intervention and the avoidance of any possible contagion. It should be remembered that the Ebola virus is only contagious after the onset of the first symptoms, and it's only passed on via direct contact with body fluids.
The patient's general condition is good, and he has been flown - in biocontainment - to the "Lazzaro Spallanzani National Institute for Infectious Diseases" in Rome, Italy, where he'll receive the necessary medical treatment.
Further updates on the state of health of our colleague will be made every day by Istituto Spallanzani.
EMERGENCY will not issue any further statements for the time being, to safeguard the privacy of the patient and of his family.
We also call upon journalists to respect the family's wishes.
(May 13, 2015)
ABOUT MEDITERRANEAN MIGRANT DEATHS
On Saturday night, at least 700 people died in the Strait of Sicily in their attempt to escape from war, persecution and poverty. It's the biggest scene of carnage ever to be witnessed in the Mediterranean, but it probably won't be the last. We can't just carry on seeing hundreds of innocent people die, and do nothing.
Safe, legal routes of entry into Europe are needed. Policies must be set up to protect and safeguard the human rights of the refugees, migrants and asylum-seekers who cross the Mediterranean in order to survive. Right now, before the next carnage.
(April 20, 2015)
EMERGENCY NGO DOCTOR UNDERGOING TREATMENT AT SPALLANZANI HOSPITAL IN ROME
The EMERGENCY NGO doctor who tested positive to Ebola was today admitted to the Istituto Spallanzani in Rome.
The doctor, whose condition is stable, underwent specific antiviral treatment with medication not registered in Italy but authorised thanks to an order issued by AIFA (the Italian Medicines Agency).
Further updates on his state of health will be made every day by Istituto Spallanzani.
EMERGENCY NGO supports the family's request to respect their privacy at such a difficult time.
(November 25, 2014)
EBOLA: ONE OF EMERGENCY NGO'S DOCTORS HAS TESTED POSITIVE TO THE VIRUS
An EMERGENCY NGO doctor who works at the Ebola Treatment Centre in Lakka, in Sierra Leone, has developed the symptoms of Ebola. In accordance with the Ministry of Health and the Foreign Office, his medical evacuation to Italy has been arranged. The doctor is in good general condition, and will be leaving Sierra Leone today so he can be treated at the Istituto Spallanzani in Rome.
All the staff working in EMERGENCY NGO's Ebola Treatment Centre are given specific training with regards protection protocols, to avoid the risk of infection and the spreading of the virus. With such a serious epidemic though, no health intervention can be considered entirely risk-free.
In Sierra Leone, the situation is dramatic: the epidemic continues to grow, with more than 100 new cases every day. According to World Health Organization data, there are over 5,000 people suffering from Ebola in this country, but the real figures could be far higher.
EMERGENCY NGO won't be issuing any further statements for the time being, to safeguard the privacy of the patient and his family.
(November 24, 2014)
The Ugandan EMERGENCY doctor who contracted Ebola in Sierra Leone was discharged from Frankfurt University Hospital
After developing the first symptoms while he was still on his mission, he was taken to Germany on 2nd October.
"We've been waiting for this news for weeks, and we're delighted and relieved that our doctor has recovered and can resume his old life - says EMERGENCY NGO President Cecilia Strada - At this time we can't help thinking as well about the thousands of people with Ebola in Sierra Leone, Guinea and Liberia, who aren't receiving any treatment because of the lack of hospitals, doctors and nurses."
More than 15,000 cases of Ebola are currently registered by the World Health Organization in the countries hit by the virus, but no-one really knows the true extent of the epidemic. In Sierra Leone alone, there are at least 100 new cases every day.
To deal with this dramatic situation, the EMERGENCY staff are working alongside DFID (the British ministerial department set up to fight world poverty) to open a new Ebola treatment centre with 100 beds.
In Sierra Leone, EMERGENCY goes on working in the Ebola treatment centre in Lakka and in the Surgical and Paediatric Centre in Goderich.
(November 20, 2014)
A MEMBER OF EMERGENCY'S MEDICAL STAFF IN SIERRA LEONE HAS TESTED POSITIVE TO THE EBOLA VIRUS
A member of EMERGENCY's international staff has contracted the Ebola virus in Sierra Leone. The patient is a Ugandan paediatrician who works at EMERGENCY's Centre for treatment of Ebola patients in Lakka, in the area around the capital Freetown.
He has begun the treatment at the Lakka Centre and his overall conditions are stable. He has been transferred today to Germany to continue the treatment.
"To avoid the spreading of the virus and contamination, all personnel employed at the Centre have received specific training on the protection protocols, use of personal protection equipment and correct movement along the set paths within the Centre," says Luca Rolla, EMERGENCY's coordinator in Sierra Leone. "However, no medical action can be considered entirely without risk during an epidemic of this kind."
In Sierra Leone over 110 health workers have caught Ebola. The epidemic is quickly spreading throughout the country, but especially all around the capital: World Health Organisation data say that there are over 1,800 people infected by Ebola, with an increase of 30 new cases every day, but no one knows the true extent of the epidemic.
EMERGENCY will not issue any further statements for the time being, to safeguard the privacy of the patient and of his family.
EMERGENCY has been working in Sierra Leone since 2001 in the Surgical and Paediatric Centre in Goderich which, for the past two months, has been the only hospital open and operating in the Freetown area.
Recently, on 18 September, EMERGENCY opened a Centre in Lakka with 22 beds to isolate and treat patients suffering from Ebola.
(October 2, 2014)
EBOLA: 10 PATIENTS HAVE ALREADY BEEN ADMITTED TO THE EMERGENCY CENTRE IN LAKKA, IN SIERRA LEONE
Emergency doctors and nurses are already working round-the-clock at the Ebola treatment centre opened just 4 days ago in Lakka, in Sierra Leone.
So far, the centre has taken in 10 patients, and 2 suspect cases are on their way now from the province of Pujehun.
Don Emanuel, the Spanish priest brought to the Emergency centre last Friday, was taken back to his country this morning. He's in a critical condition.
His bed has already been taken over by Grace, a 38-year old woman whose test at the isolation unit of our Goderich Surgical Centre yesterday evening proved positive. Grace was 6 months pregnant, but she suffered a miscarriage just before being brought to Lakka.
The epidemic is quickly spreading throughout the country, but especially all around the capital, Freetown: official figures speak of over 1,500 sick people - an increase of 39% in the last three weeks.
In an attempt to stop the virus from advancing, the Sierra Leone government imposed a 3-day curfew starting from last Friday (19th September): everyone had to stay at home, public offices and businesses remained closed, and people were only allowed to use their cars for emergencies.
During this extremely hard time, the Emergency staff have carried on providing the necessary treatment for patients at the Lakka Centre and in the Surgical and Paediatric Centre in Goderich which, for the past 40 days and more, has been the only hospital up and running in the entire Freetown area.
All the staff, both national and international, are doing everything possible to face a serious humanitarian crisis that's without precedent in Sierra Leone, and of which nobody actually knows the true dimensions.
That's why Emergency is already working to open a new, bigger Ebola treatment centre in collaboration with the Sierra Leone Ministry of Health, as soon as possible.
(September 22, 2014)
EBOLA: EMERGENCY OPENS A TREATMENT CENTRE IN SIERRA LEONE
In Sierra Leone the Ebola epidemic is out of control. Over 1,500 people have contracted Ebola, and more than half of them have died. 500 new cases have come to light in the last 3 weeks alone. Every day, more than 20 people fall ill with the disease.
To deal with this situation, Emergency has just opened a treatment centre for Ebola patients in Lakka, a few kilometres from the capital.
"We decided to open this Centre because the epidemic isn't showing any signs of letting up: the positive cases can only increase and more healthcare personnel, isolation wards and beds will be needed to treat them” says Luca Rolla, Emergency coordinator in Sierra Leone.
The first patient was taken in just 4 hours after the Centre opened: she's a girl of 18, who came to the Lakka Centre on her own initiative.
Emergency has purposely set up a structure made available by the local health ministry. It's sub-divided into a waiting room, a triage area, a 10-bed isolation area for suspected cases, a 12-bed treatment area, a disinfection area and a mortuary. There's also a service area with changing rooms, a storeroom, a laundry and kitchens.
About 110 people are working at the Lakka Centre; these include doctors, nurses, logistics managers, auxiliaries and cleaning staff. The international personnel come from Italy, Serbia, Spain and Uganda.
To safeguard both patients and staff, all personnel members have followed a specific training course involving protection protocols, the use of personal protective equipment, and the correct movement in the set paths within the Centre to prevent the spreading of the virus and subsequent contamination.
Emergency has been working in Sierra Leone since 2001, with a Surgical Centre and a Paediatric Centre in Goderich, near the capital Freetown.
Since the epidemic broke out, all the Centre's work has been reorganised to limit the risk of contagion as far as possible. The national and international staff have received training about protection protocols. Two isolation tents have been set up in the hospital complex, far away from the medical buildings, and the entire hospital is subjected to specific disinfection procedures.
For the past 40 days, Emergency's Surgical and Paediatric Centre has been the only hospital left open and effectively operative in the Freetown area.
Our staff are working round the clock to handle the surgical emergencies and treat hundreds of cases of malaria, infections of the airways and malnutrition in children who otherwise wouldn't get any treatment at all.
(September 19, 2014)
EBOLA IN SIERRA LEONE
At least 1,305 cases ascertained in the whole country, including 76 in the capital Freetown and 42 in the "Western Area" where our Goderich hospital is located. The two treatment centres of Kenema and Kailahun are full, and won't be able to take in any more patients for a few days: those who result positive will have to wait until a bed becomes free in the isolation units.
The Ebola emergency is further worsened by the fact that hundreds of people are unable to find treatment because the hospitals are closed and the public health service has collapsed. The paediatric hospital in Freetown is still completely closed: this means that the only possibility for sick children is our Paediatric Centre in Goderich - the only health centre open and fully operative in the capital and the surrounding area.
"We're working round the clock: we see hundreds of patients every day. Our wards are always full, and even the beds we've added in the guest lodge are always occupied. In a country with one of the highest infant mortality rates in the world, not only Ebola but also malaria, infections of the airways, malnutrition... continue to claim victims" says Luca, medical coordinator for EMERGENCY in Sierra Leone
(September 15, 2014)
SKIRMISHES IN GHAZNI - 10 CASUALTIES BROUGHT TO THE EMERGENCY HOSPITAL IN KABUL
Ghazni, a city about 150km south of Kabul, has seen a morning of intense fighting between Afghan and Taliban forces: the explosion of three car bombs near the offices of the police and secret services was followed by three hours of violent clashes, with heavy artillery. Emergency's First Aid Post (FAP) in the city was damaged, but is still open; the staff have treated 43 people, all with superficial wounds.
The Kabul hospital took in the most serious casualties, brought from the FAP in the Emergency ambulance or sent there from the provincial hospital of Ghazni: for the time being, 10 people who need surgical operations, while others are on their way.
There's also been fighting in Sirobi, to the east of the capital; two women with bullet wounds came to us from there.
The situation in Afghanistan is getting steadily worse.
The Emergency hospitals are always full. In July, the Kabul Surgical Centre alone took in 326 people with war injuries, and 604 people came to the FAP.
Twenty percent of the wounded were under 14 years of age.
Emergency has been working in Afghanistan since 1999, with a Surgical Centre for war victims in Kabul and another in Lashkar-gah (Helmand), a hospital and a Maternity Centre in Anabah (Panjshir Valley), 40 First Aid Posts and Health Centres, and a healthcare assistance programme in the prisons of Kabul.
In Afghanistan, Emergency has treated over 3 million 900 thousand people.
(September 5, 2014)
NORTHERN IRAQ. EMERGENCY OPENS A CLINIC IN KHANAQEEN.
In Northern Iraq the emergency continues. There are 700,000 evacuees by now and the local Kurdish authorities are unable to meet the needs of the constantly increasing flow of refugees on their own.
The evacuees – recently primarily Iraqi Christians and Yazidis – are fleeing from combat and IS violence which has pushed all the way to within the borders between the Kurdish region and the central Baghdad government.
In one of these areas, in Khanaqeen, EMERGENCY has opened a healthcare centre to provide assistance to the refugees living in makeshift camps where they have no access to even the most basic services: water, electricity, toilet facilities.
The Emergency team, made up of local and international staff, treats at least 50 people a day.
Currently most of the evacuees are arriving from Jalawla, which has just fallen under IS control. At the clinic we met M. who fled here with her brother and 4 children: “When the IS militia lost control of the city they came into our homes and made off with everything. I fled with my brother and my children because my husband is in the army and if they had found out about this they would surely have killed us. We are living in a very difficult situation, all of us in a tent with 50°C degrees, without potable water and electricity for at least 8 hours a day. But at least we are alive.”
In Northern Iraq Emergency has also opened a healthcare centre in the Arbat refugee camp where about 3,000 people who fled from the war in Syria are living.
In addition to basic healthcare, the centre's staff provides gynaecological and obstetric care for women and an immunisation program, as well as a nutritional growth monitoring service for children under five years of age.
(August 28, 2014)
EBOLA: THREE PATIENTS TESTED POSITIVE AT EMERGENCY'S HOSPITAL IN GODERICH.
Yesterday, three patients who tested positive for Ebola were transferred from Emergency's hospital in Goderich to the Treatment Centre in Kenema, as required by the national Ebola emergency guidelines.
A woman and her 3-year-old twin daughters were admitted to Emergency's hospital on Thursday evening with fever and diarrhoea. They were immediately recognised as suspected cases, tested and placed in isolation while they awaited the results.
The mother and the two girls are the first three patients to test positive for Ebola at Emergency's hospital since the epidemic began in Sierra Leone.
"Emergency's staff is currently disinfecting the isolation units in line with the security protocols. The mattresses and bed linen used during their stay have been burned in the incinerator," says Luca Rolla, Emergency's programme coordinator in Sierra Leone.
"The patients were placed in isolation without passing through the wards thanks to a separate screening area that we opened at the beginning of the Ebola emergency where all patients with suspicious symptoms or who come from areas that are more at risk can be checked."
In recent months, all of Emergency's local and international staff have been trained on the security procedures necessary to prevent the spread of the virus.
Even in this extremely difficult situation, all the hospital staff has shown great professionalism and extraordinary dedication to patients. To date, 881 cases of Ebola have been confirmed in Sierra Leone, 26 in Freetown alone.
During this serious emergency, access to health care for those living in the capital is ever more limited: "The government hospital of reference is only partially operational and the operating rooms have been closed for more than a month. The public Ola During Children Hospital has been closed for more than a week. Dozens of children suffering from malaria, respiratory infections and malnutrition risk a different kind of emergency, for many as deadly as Ebola," says Luca Rolla.
In order to assist as many children as possible, a few days ago, Emergency converted the guest housing - normally used for relatives of patients - into a paediatric ward, but the beds are already all full.
The Emergency's paediatric centre visits approximately 100-120 children every day, a number, under these circumstances, that is likely to increase.
(August 25, 2014)
GAZA: MASSACRE OF CIVILIANS - ITALY MUST STOP THE SUPPLY OF WEAPONS TO ISRAEL
Just as another humanitarian truce is announced, there's pain and indignation in Emergency's contemplation of the attacks on civilians, and the serious violation of humanitarian rights in Gaza during Operation “Protective Edge”. So far, there have been at least 1,800 Palestini