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“The little girl was the first off the ship”


Nine months old. She arrived yesterday morning at the port of Pozzallo, along with her mother and 296 other people, aboard the Irish ship Le Niamh.

‘The little girl was the first off the ship, accompanied by her mum. She was in a very bad way, with dyspnea and arrhythmia. As she was taken away in an ambulance, the little girl went into cardio-respiratory arrest. Our staff brought her back round and she was taken by helicopter to Messina hospital,’ explains Giulia, coordinator of the Landings Team.

The people coming off the ship, from Somalia, Eritrea, Ethiopia, the Gambia, the Comoros Islands and Niger, were in critical condition. Many of them were malnourished, many had hypothermia, hypoglycemia and wounds from torture and violence.

‘Almost all the people landing told us they hadn’t eaten for more than five days. There were 54 women among them, many of them pregnant. Some lost conscience when they came off the ship. A quarter of the migrants at Pozzallo yesterday morning were under 18. There was also a man with a serious facial injury and possible fracture to his left arm, both from the violence he suffered in Libya,’ Giulia continues.

EMERGENCY is in Sicily to guarantee social-sanitary help for migrants arriving in Italy via Libya. In 2016 we launched a psychological aid project to meet their needs. This is mainly for the most vulnerable patients: children and victims of violence and torture.