“S is 31 years old. He arrived in Italy a little over a month ago, having made an exhausting journey on foot from Pakistan to Milan, via the Balkan route. To make the journey even harder, one of his feet was horribly broken and went untreated."
“When I listen to people who have spent hours squashed onto an inflatable raft, forced to stand still for the whole journey, vomiting and relieving themselves where they stand; when I hear the stories of those who have had a family crisis and found themselves sleeping on the streets… I think it’s devastating.”
On the streets of Milan, our Politruck sets up for the day, ready to welcome patients and offer them primary level care and socio-medical counselling, helping them overcome the linguistic and financial barriers that often prevent them from accessing the treatment they need. Behind the wheel of the mobile clinic is our logistician, Luigi.
Routine and special maintenance, sanitisation, transport, supervision… formerly a furniture maker, Luigi discovered EMERGENCY in 2013 through one of our volunteers, and since then he has worked to support migrants and vulnerable people in our projects in Italy.
“Here in the city, life is fast-moving and there’s a lot of instability – things can get stressful. A lot of the time, those who decide to stop at the gazebo in front of our clinic just need to talk, share their worries, let off some steam. The stories I hear are unbelievable, but I try to always work with a smile on my face.”
That gazebo, one of the many things he sets up before the patients start arriving, is the clinic’s waiting room. Up a couple of steps is the Politruck, where we hear all kinds of stories from patients who have taken different routes, who need different things, who have come from 60 different countries and who speak a thousand different languages. Here, thanks to Luigi, who always works with such care and always with a smile, alongside doctors, nurses, and mediators – here is where we help those in need, every day.