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Covid-19 | EMERGENCY in Calabria Strada: ‘We’re Starting in Crotone, the First Piece of the Puzzle’

“We’re starting our work in Calabria at Crotone hospital, but we’re ready for other projects too.”

These were EMERGENCY founder Gino Strada’s comments on us being asked to run a temporary hospital built by the Civil Protection Department in Crotone to ease the burden on the town’s old hospital.

The decision was taken at a meeting yesterday afternoon between EMERGENCY, the national Civil Protection Department and the regional Civil Protection Department for Calabria. Under it, EMERGENCY will help design and run the facility. We also discussed whether EMERGENCY might help with other projects to manage Covid-19 patients. These are yet to be determined but they will certainly be done with the collaboration of the Civil Protection Department and the regional health authorities, both within the hospital and around the local area.

EMERGENCY has been working in Calabria since 2013, in Polistena, where we run a clinic in a building confiscated from the ’Ndrangheta. Here we look after the most vulnerable people in the area who cannot get treatment elsewhere. EMERGENCY will start doing swab tests in Polistena this week at the mayor’s request.

EMERGENCY has been working alongside the Civil Protection Department since the epidemic first broke out in Bergamo. We ran an intensive care ward together at the makeshift hospital set up on the trade fair site by Papa Giovanni XXIII Hospital, relying on a team of doctors and logicians.

Early on in the pandemic, EMERGENCY also trained people to prevent contagion in homeless shelters, care homes and schools, and ran schemes delivering food and basic goods to households struck by the recession.

EMERGENCY is an independent, neutral organisation, founded in 1994 to offer free, high-quality medical and surgical treatment to victims of war, landmines and poverty. Since then EMERGENCY has treated over 11 million people: one every minute. EMERGENCY promotes a culture of peace, solidarity and respect for human rights.

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