Assistance to migrants in Sicily

Italy - Augusta, Noto, Pozzallo, Rosolini




Start of activities

In Sicily, providing assistance to migrants arriving in Italy via Libya.

In 2017, more than 170,000 people crossed the Mediterranean Sea and 119.310 landed in Italy. The percentage of deaths in the Mediterranean is rising. In 2017, for every 1000 of those who landed, 18 deaths were recorded – this is the highest ratio in the last 4 years.

In the ports and first reception centres

After our initial interventions in the port of Syracuse and near the ‘Umberto I’ First Welcome Centre, we expanded our presence on the island, at the request of the Prefecture and local healthcare organisations, in order to respond to the increasing number of landings.

In 2015, we started working in different Sicilian ports and currently we are active in Augusta and Pozzallo offering primary care to migrants upon their arrival. We see cases of dehydration, common cold, bronchitis, gastrointestinal problems, muscle aches, and dermatological problems, often resulting from travel conditions.

But there are also more serious diseases: malnourishment, those with chronic ailments who could not follow their regular treatments and therapies and many people in shock after the crossing. To respond to these needs, in 2016 we began a project dedicated to providing primary psychological assistance, aimed at more vulnerable patients, such as unaccompanied minors and those who have suffered violence or torture.

Together with healthcare staff, doctors and nurses – psychologists, psychotherapists and cultural mediators also work in our team. In this way we can better evaluate the healthcare needs of migrants as they arrive and inform them of the administrative and legal steps they must undertake

Centres for unaccompanied minors (MSNA)

Our staff also work at First Reception Centres and CAS (Extraordinary Reception Centres) “Frasca” in Rosolini and “Mondo Nuovo” in Noto, in the province of Syracuse.

Source: IOM, Italian Ministry of the Interior, UNHCR

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