ABOUT US

ABOUT US

ABOUT US

OUR HISTORY

MEDICI DEL MONDO ITALIA

OUR HISTORY

THE BEGINNINGS

1979 The Île de Lumière In 1978, somewhere on the South China Sea, a boat was drifting off course. On board were 2,564 Vietnamese refugees no country wanted to accept. In despair, they hoisted a banner which read: “We are threatened with hunger and epidemics. United Nations, save us!” A team of doctors – including Bernard Kouchner – intellectuals and journalists set off on a hospital ship, the Île de lumière, not only to provide medical assistance but also to bear witness to the plight of the boat people. On May 21st 1980, Médecins du Monde was born. The organisation set itself the threefold objective of going where others did not go, of bearing witness to the intolerable and of working on a voluntary basis. In the words of one of its founding doctors, the organisation was above all about “creating a structure ready to address emergency situations in the shortest possible timescale, something which is not always feasible for international institutions”.

HISTORY

1980
The beginning

The beginning in France of Médecins du Monde.

Afghanistan

MdM decided to secretly intervene. This was the beginning of a lengthy venture in which more than one hundred doctors worked in relays, organising vaccination campaigns and training local nursing staff.

1986
South Africa

MdM started working in the country in 1985 alongside the most oppressed populations of the townships and in the most isolated rural areas.

1989
Bucarest

MdM was the first humanitarian organisation to enter Romania in December 1989, the day after Ceausescu fled.

1990
The Krakow Chapter

On 31 March 1990, MdM contributed to the adoption of a European Charter of Humanitarian Aid, according to which “the principle of non-interference ceases to apply where there is a risk of failure to provide assistance”.

1993
Sarajevo

In 1995, MdM published a collection of eyewitness accounts, which was submitted to the International Criminal Court for Ex-Yugoslavia: this contribution placed MDM at the heart of the fight against impunity.

1996
Emergencies

In 1996, MdM set up an internal “emergency department” to enhance its responsiveness to crisis settings, whether relating to conflicts or natural disasters.

2005
The tsunami in Indonesia

MdM was involved in re-establishing access to primary healthcare, in reconstructing health centres that had been destroyed and in providing epidemic monitoring.

2010
Haiti

MdM was on the spot with surgical teams and mobile primary healthcare clinics.

2011
The Syrian Crisis

Since 2011, MdM is continuing its efforts to maintain access to care and provides constant support to Syrian doctors who help the wounded and sick throughout the country.

2014
The Ebola epidemic

To tackle the Ebola virus epidemic, MdM intervened in 8 countries responding to the twofold challenge: that of preventing the spread of the devastating epidemic and that of supporting the already fragile healthcare systems to deal with the epidemic while continuing to care for the population.

2015
Beginning of the Italian Mission of MDM

To respond to the growing number of migrants trying to reach Europe since 2014, the Italian mission of MdM was born on October 15th 2015, with the contribution of Médecins du Monde France and Medicos del Mundo España.

For more information on the history of Médecins du Monde, click here.

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Contact Us

Medici del Mondo Italia
Via Eugenio Torelli Viollier, 109
Rome, 00157 (RM)

Mail. info@medicidelmondo.it

MdM – International Chapters