Mideast: healthcare, new Italian mission leaves for Gaza

Paediatric heart surgeons leave on Nov. 21 to treat kids

07 November, 14:07

    (ANSAmed) - ROME, NOVEMBER 7 - A new Italian mission including heart surgeons aimed at helping children living in the Territories and the Gaza Strip will leave on November 21 to work at the European Hospital in Gaza.

    The mission was announced during a meeting at the Lower House attended by Pierpaolo Vargiu, president of the House's social affairs commission, Fucsia Nissoli, an MP elected abroad, Francesco Di Marco of Gift of Life Italy-New York, Gian Luigi Gigli, MP and neurologist, and Giancarlo Crupi, heart surgeon at the Giovanni XXIII in Bergamo.

    Several international cooperation projects in the past few years have solved healthcare problems in the Territories. 'This is proven by the results of a project which started in East Jerusalem in 1999 with a team from Italy, the US, New Zeland, Britain, France and Belgium', organizers said.

    Between 2003 and 2012, they recalled, thanks to the paediatric heart surgery programme at the Makassed Hospital in East Jerusalem, 1,200 children had surgery and the project became totally independent in January this year.

    'These are not singular missions conducted sporadically but projects developed on a multi-annual basis', said Giancarlo Crupi.

    'The paediatric heart surgery programme at the European Hospital in Gaza last May led to four missions and ours will leave on November 21. The objective is to carry out two missions on an annual basis to guarantee, with missions conducted by other partners, a coverage as constant as possible of local needs'.

    Costs are the problem in such a specialised medical sector considering the funds necessary to optimize local resources, provide material and carry out 10 surgeries a week.

    In such contexts, said Nissoli, 'we find that Italian work ethic which honours us and represents the beautiful side of our country in foreign policy. I think the value of cooperation is irreplaceable to solve problems which single states cannot confront and to draw populations and cultures closer with reciprocal respect'.(ANSAmed).

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