We want to go on providing a practical response to the needs of the most vulnerable among us, and we will.
Gino Strada, EMERGENCY’s founder, left us today.
He was 73 years old and spent his life making the world a better place.
He worked as a war surgeon with the International Red Cross, and founded EMERGENCY in 1994 to offer free treatment to war victims and bring high-quality healthcare to countries affected by war and poverty.
He lived in Afghanistan for seven years, treating thousands of people injured in the conflict and contributing to the opening of EMERGENCY’s hospitals in the country.
He brought high-quality cardiac surgery, rooted in the concept of excellence, to Africa, because “there should be no ‘A’ and ‘B’ series healthcare”. The Salam Centre’s approach to healthcare is now a globally recognised model.
He saw the horrors of war and landmines, and fought against them with medicine, surgery and a culture of peace.
“What we do, we and others, what we can do with our own strength is perhaps less than a drop in the ocean. But I remain of the opinion that it is better that it is there, that drop, because if it were not there it would be worse for everyone. That is all. It’s a tiring job, that of the war surgeon. But it is also, for me, a great honour.” Gino Strada
In a statement, EMERGENCY wrote:
“Our beloved Gino died this morning.
He was the founder, surgeon, Executive Director, the soul of EMERGENCY.
“Patients always come first.” A sense of justice, lucidity, rigour, vision: these were the things that were immediately apparent in Gino. And if you got to know him better, you could see that he knew how to dream, have fun and invent one thousand things.
We couldn’t imagine being without him, his presence was enough to make us all feel stronger and less alone, even if he was far away.
Among his last thoughts, he was thinking of Afghanistan yesterday.
We love you Gino.”