From early March the Oasi della Salute motorhome in Afmal – Association with the Fatebenefratelli for the distant sick is at the Basilica of Santa Sofia in Romethe reference church for Ukrainian refugees arriving in the capital. The rector of the basilica, Don Marco Semehen, turned to the association precisely to ensure that the refugees received first medical care. In addition to the motorhome clinic has also been set up a tent where you can make visits.
“Along with our commitment in Italy, our commitment has been activated as well as in Rome Naples Hospital and Casa Olallo in Palermo is available for the reception of refugees, we have also tried to to help our colleagues in Poland and Ukraine“, recount eng Gerardo D’Auria, operational vice-president of Afmal. “In Drohobič, which is south of Lviv, like Fatebenefratelli, we have a reception house for the poor which now works for the passage of refugees to Poland where in Warsaw our brothers asked us for help: unable to go sent us 100,000 euros to buy aid for the refugees”.
Above Hagia Sophia, in the foreground the aid collection area; under the Afmal tent where the medical examinations take place
A few days after the outbreak of the war, Ukrainians began to arrive in Italy, and the rector of Hagia Sophia met with Afmal, “with Don Marco Semehen, we first organized an event to raise funds, then we gave the possibility of medical examinations to those who arrive exhausted fleeing the war. The Lazio region has made facilities available, but these people also need a health check,” continues Brother Gerardo.
In those first weeks Afmal doctors, paediatricians, nurses and volunteers made more than 500 visits especially to women and children “these are people who have experienced severe psychological stress and moreover we have also brought in psychologists” specifies vice-president Afmal. Among the children were found “many pathologies common to our children, then respiratory diseases, significant dermatitis, many children then need additional examinations and subsequent treatments, and for them we have activated the “Afmal Channel” in our hospitals which provides for the possibility of carrying out medical examinations and visits which will then be paid for by Afmal and not by the patients”, explains fra Gerardo.
Right now 40 adults and 47 children are hospitalized at San Pietro Hospital in Rome. The health needs of the refugees are also numerous because the escape from the bombs, the stress suffered and the journey acted for some as a detonator of illnesses: this is the case of a child whose epilepsy was exacerbated by the stress suffered under the bombardments. . Then there is the case of two teenage girls who would like to return to Ukraine and do not eat, when almost all the children have dermatitis to be treated.
“The visits are particularly intense at the weekend, but our presence is guaranteed all week. Now, leaving the tent for the visits to the basilica with the Camper ambulance, we will go on missions to the hotels where other refugees are stayingannounces Brother Gerardo, referring to the facilities made available by the Lazio Region in Spinaceto and the Medici Park where the refugees are accommodated in hotels.
What Afmal has established is a multi-level solidarity that he has seen Also involved were the employees of the Fatebenefratelli hospitals who organized a fundraiser and they bought new clothes and basic necessities, especially for personal hygiene, to give to the refugees. “Our medical corps is always very helpful in an emergency and someone even asked to be sent to Poland or Ukraine to help,” concludes Brother Gerardo.
Continue to support activities in favor of refugees Afmal on April 2 at the Circolo Due Ponti in Rome promotes an event called “A Chalice of Solidarity for Ukraine”: an evening dedicated to Afmal benefactors and sympathizers, the profits of which will go to the health project for the Ukrainian population (the initiative’s leaflet is attached).