MDM INTERNATIONAL NETWORK
MEDICI DEL MONDO ITALIA
MEDICI DEL MONDO ITALIA
The birth of Medici del Mondo Italia dates back to 1993, when a group of doctors from Milan, supported by Médecins du Monde France, formed an association to promote emergency intervention during the crisis in the former Yugoslavia. Until 2004, they also carried out social inclusion projects in Milan, as well as international projects, especially in Ecuador. Then, in 2004, the activities ceased.
Years later, to respond to the growing number of migrants who have been trying to reach Europe since 2014, on October 15th 2015, the Italian mission of MdM was reborn, with the contribution of Médecins du Monde France and Medicos del Mundo España.
In response to the growing number of migrants trying to reach Europe, the Italian mission born at the end of 2015. Initially with a program to support access to health for migrants and refugees in Calabria (at the port at the time of arrival and in reception centres) and, from the end of 2017, also with an intervention in favour of migrant populations living in informal settlements in Rome.
Starting from 2018, a new program with a focus on gender-based violence and sexual and reproductive health is developed over three regions: Calabria, Lazio and eastern Sicily.
Finally, at the beginning of 2020, with the outbreak of the pandemic, the Italian mission immediately contributed in its areas of intervention to prevent and mitigate the effects of Covid-19 on the most vulnerable populations.
Thanks to a holistic approach that promotes the empowerment of the beneficiaries and the strengthening of existing services, MdM works in close collaboration with public institutions and local associations and promotes a highly participatory approach aimed at the autonomy and inclusion of beneficiaries.
In the five years of the Italian mission of MdM, the main actions carried out were the following:
The Mediterranean is the most dangerous route for migrants. For this reason in 2016 the SOS MEDITERRANEE operation was launched with the the Acquarius rescue ship.
Thanks to the support of MdM doctors, nurses and intercultural mediators, from February to May 2016, the SOS MEDITERRANEE carried out 6 rescues off the Libyan coast, providing assistance to 917 people of which 791 men and 126 women.
The medical and mental health mobile units of MdM worked at the port at the time of arrival and in first reception centres in the province of Reggio Calabria.
30.000 migrants and asylum seekers were assisted by the team of MdM in the port of Reggio Calabria
1.400 first medical screenings were conducted at the port
212 referrals to National Health System services were carried out
Around 13.000 multilingual leaflets were distributed
MdM organized psychosocial group activities and orientation activities to health services in order to increase the personal autonomy and well-being of migrants, asylum seekers and refugees, to promote the knowledge of their rights, and to facilitate access to medical care.
A total of about 2.500 participants in psychosocial group activities, awareness raising activities and orientation towards local services
MdM carried out information and health education sessions on mental health, on sexual and reproductive health (e.g. pregnancy, breastfeeding, family planning, prevention of sexually transmitted diseases), as well as awareness sessions on gender violence.
Around 1.200 migrants, asylum seekers and refugees participated in information sessions on mental health, sexual and reproductive health and gender-based violence, including 600 women and 300 minors (< 18 years old).
Numerous training sessions for socio-health professionals and intercultural mediators have been organized by MdM in order to facilitate the learning of strategies and tools to be used in the relationship with vulnerable beneficiaries.
About 1.200 health and social workers and 250 intercultural mediators took part in MdM trainings.
As a medical organization, MdM made a commitment to prevent and mitigate the effects of the Covid-19 pandemic on the most vulnerable populations.
Activation of an emergency telephone number to provide medical-health orientation and prevention. The number is supported by the intercultural mediation service. From the beginning (March 2020) up to January 2021, about 450 people called the number.
About 170 medical consultations were made within the Caritas clinic (for people living in marginal conditions)
About 100.500 people reached by our online live chat with community leaders to raise awareness and prevention methods within the various local communities of migrants
About 1.300 people received a hygiene and prevention products kit.
Finally, in addition to these interventions, MdM actively participates in advocacy campaigns to promote the universal right to health for the most vulnerable populations.
We call on national and international authorities to facilitate access to care and to promote human rights. We seek to influence political decisions so as to provide better health protection to people and communities. Our actions can extend, where necessary, to legal proceedings in the quest for a favourable precedent or legal and regulatory changes. We are advocates of health systems organised by public administrations, which are accessible to all and based on the principles of fairness and solidarity. Healthcare and humans should not become mere commodities.
We are convinced that sustainable change rests on “the development of a people’s power to take control” of their health. Their empowerment guides our actions. The beneficiaries of our programmes are included in all stages from conception and organisation to assessment. We support them in their steps towards formulating public health policies that are in line with medical expertise and their actual needs.
We believe in social justice as a vehicle for equal access to healthcare, respect for fundamental rights, and collective solidarity.
With our partners, the communities and their representatives, we help empower all socially and physically vulnerable populations to take action within their social environment, to become actors in their own health and to exercise their rights.
Our organization is independent of all political, religious or financial authorities and interests. We are independent in the choice of our programs and operating methods. We refuse all forms of subordination and foster dialogue with the people and the communities with whom we work.
As a movement of committed and militant professionals, made up of volunteers and salaried staff, we provide and/or support medical services, bear witness and – strengthened by our diversity – sustain populations who are seeking social change.
We seek balance between national and international actions, between emergency and long-term actions, between medical and non-medical knowledge, and between public funding and private donations.
This balance is a key factor to determine our legitimacy and originality.
It is our duty now, as one of the 17 Chapters of the international network of MdM, to continue to denounce all forms of barriers preventing access to health services, and to aspire to a world where medical access is recognized as a fundamental human right for all individuals.
MdM – International Chapters