In Palermo, Sicily, we are working on strengthening the capacity of a Ministry of Health (MoH) clinic for migrants to provide medical care for patients who survived intentional violence and torture in their country of origin or during their journey to Italy.
In Rome, we support vulnerable migrant women in squats and informal settlements to access sexual and reproductive services, working in several family clinics alongside MoH staff, conducting health promotion activities and offering psychological care.
We are also responding to the COVID-19 pandemic in the capital, working in collaboration with the MoH to reach undocumented people and facilitate their access to vaccination programmes.
Our activities in 2020 in Italy
Data and information from the International Activity Report 2020.
Italy was the first European country to be hard hit by COVID-19. In early March, at the request of the health ministry, we started working in hospitals in Lombardy, the region with the highest number of cases, sharing our epidemic expertise in infection prevention and control, and patient care. We extended our activities to other regions, focusing on vulnerable groups. Our teams worked in care homes, prisons, migrant centres, shelters for the homeless, informal settlements and squats, supporting civil society groups providing assistance, and running multilingual health promotion and online mental health activities.
Although our emergency response ended in July, we continued to carry out COVID-19 activities. On the outskirts of Rome, we supported the early detection and management of cases, while in Palermo, we responded to outbreaks in shelters for the homeless and migrant centres.
In the summer, our team in Lampedusa, Sicily, responded to a sharp increase in the number of migrants arriving from Libya and Tunisia. For two months, we supported and trained national health service medical teams in triage at disembarkation and offered psychological first aid to people traumatised by experiences during their journey.
Throughout the year, our teams continued to monitor the situation of migrants in transit at Italy’s northern borders. We denounced the dire living conditions, and the harsh treatment to which they were exposed, including physical abuse and pushbacks across the borders. We also worked with civil society groups to distribute relief items such as blankets and winter clothes.
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