Every year we publish an Activity Report, giving up-to-date details of our programmes, a short description of each hospital and data regarding patients' treatment
1994. Images from the Rwandan genocide were appearing on our television screens, of unprecedented suffering, death, and refugees totally ignored. Our team of doctors and nurses were determined to do everything they could to help the victims.Gino Strada, surgeon and founder of EMERGENCY
As soon as we arrived, we began renovating the hospital’s operating theatres. We had to fix the bricks and mortar before even starting on the scalpels and operating tables. Only then could we begin treating the wounded, disfigured with horrific violence by machetes.
That was 25 years ago. It was the birth of EMERGENCY.
25 years of EMERGENCY
Introduction by Rossella Miccio, President of EMERGENCY, in the 2018 Report
It’s EMERGENCY’s 25th anniversary.
An important anniversary in terms of how far we’ve come and the goals we’ve achieved.
We’re satisfied to have provided free, quality treatment to over 10 million people who otherwise would have had none. Why? Because hospitals are often destroyed in wars, because in war people are forced to flee, surrendering all their rights, and because having no economic resources increasingly means giving up treatment, and not only in war-torn countries.
We’re not totally satisfied, though. We know our work is still needed on so many fronts.
Take Afghanistan, a country that hasn’t gone a single day without war in 40 years.
It’s an unbelievably long conflict and one we experience every day through the stories told to us by our patients and the over 1,400 members of staff in our hospitals.
To them, war means not knowing how you’ll get home after work, or whether your children will get back from school or university. Many of the simple things we take for granted are uncertain in a country stricken by decades of conflict.
Generations have lived through this war and never known peace.
Then there are personal wars, like Moussa’s. He’s 25, and for the last five years has lived in the recently dismantled tent cities in San Ferdinando, on the plains of Gioia Tauro in Calabria.
The huts in the tent city are built from makeshift materials and are home to thousands of agricultural workers hired to pick fruit and vegetables.
There was no water or electricity. In these places, you get up in the morning and go out hoping to find work – which means earning a few euros illegally, picking crateloads of oranges, tomatoes and kiwis.
Anna is also fighting a war. She was an IT worker in a company in Marghera until she lost her job two years ago. Even at our clinic in Marghera, in Italy’s wealthy north-east, one in five patients are Italian and have had to give up medical treatment because, like Anna, they can’t afford it.
Helping people like them is without doubt the reason we’re so proud of our 25 years of activity.
We will go on helping them as long as they need it. To do that, we need your continued support and trust.
Happy birthday EMERGENCY!