MEDICAL AND SURGICAL HEALTH CARE for seriously ill or wounded children in Italy and abroad

The context of intervention

The general healthcare situation for seriously ill or injured children who come from developing countries is very precarious and bleak. These ill children often live in very dramatic conditions because they do not receive the right medical treatment at the right time. Unfortunately, it is not uncommon for children with severe malformations of the heart to die because they do not receive the specialist surgery they need in their home countries. Children with severe body burns, often the victims of fires in their homes (tents, shacks) or children who are war casualties do not receive any specialist care and are later subject to severe malformations which often do not just lead to aesthetic abnormalities, or difficulties in feeding themselves or speaking, but which also cause serious social problems due to isolation. And then there are the many cases of maimed children who have undergone one or two limb amputations due to armed conflict, bomb attacks or natural disasters (earthquakes, hurricanes). They need specialist care and prosthetic limbs to be able to walk and be independent or, if the upper limbs are involved, their appearance needs to be recreated so as to reduce the consequences of the amputation, both psychologically and socially.

Children are referred to us by our partner organizations or by the doctors on site or by the parents themselves in the countries where there are no medical facilities that can treat the diseases, injuries and malformations the children suffer from. The specialist hospitals that work with us are in Milan, Monza and Varese (Italy) and Bad Kreuznach (Frankfurt) in Germany. Also the Lombardy Region in Italy contributes towards some of the surgery costs.

Our activities

  • For seriously ill children we organize specialist medical care directly in their country of origin, either in suitable hospitals or, in the absence of a specialist on-site hospital, we can offer the child medical care in hospitals in Italy or Germany.
  • We assist foreign children who are accompanied by their parents, providing them with adequate and modern surgical care, coverage of travel expenses, visas and the relevant medical documents. We also offer assistance with translation, and provide food and board in an apartment near our headquarters in Varese, which helps to create a familiar, welcoming atmosphere for the sick child and his or her relations. The presence of the latter, as well as being fundamental and indispensable when it comes to the children, is extremely necessary for the adults, and can be a guarantee of assistance and psychological support for them in an extremely delicate moment of their lives.
  • We pay for medical and psychological care during hospitalization and convalescence outside the hospital before the child and their accompanying adult return home. We provide post-operative drug treatment during their stay in Italy, and also after their return to their country of origin.
  • We contribute to the purchase of prosthetic limbs and other medical equipment that the child needs.

We give logistical support to the family for the trip, for translations, for medical help and, if the child is operated upon in a city far from Varese, we also collaborate with other on-site associations and thereby guarantee accommodation for the person who accompanies the child.