An agreement signed on April 7 between the Italian Development Cooperation Agency and the Vatican Children’s Hospital Bambino Gesù provides for the reception and treatment of 25 young Libyan patients with serious illnesses.
April 11, 2022
By Linda Bordoni
The Libyan health system has been devastated by more than a decade of war and instability. Libyan doctors and medical workers face major challenges every day, and the country’s hospitals and medical centers face problems ranging from frequent power outages, inadequate medical supplies and staff shortages.
The emergency caused by Covid-19 has further impacted medical care in Libya, resulting in a state of near total insufficiency.
All of this creates a devastating scenario, especially for sufferers of serious illnesses, including children.
In response to the crisis, the Vatican’s Bambino Gesù Children’s Hospital has signed an agreement with the Italian Agency for Development Cooperation (AICS) for the treatment of pediatric patients with serious illnesses in Italy.
The agreement, worth €2.425 million, is part of an AICS project to benefit Libyan children suffering from serious illnesses.
This means that 25 pediatric patients who cannot be treated in Libya can be flown to Italy and cared for by the Bambino Gesù Hospital.
The children are accompanied by a parent or legal guardian, receive medical, social and psychological care and can continue their schooling. Arabic-speaking cultural mediators will facilitate communication between the young patients, their families and the hospital staff.
A fruitful and human synergy
Luca Maestripieri, Director of AICS, described the agreement as the result of an effective partnership resulting from the synergy between humanitarian commitment and the clinical excellence of a healthcare facility like Bambino Gesù Hospital.
The hospital also takes care of the clinical controls, such as B. Day clinics, and contributes to other expenses that patients and their families face during their stay in Rome.
Maestripieri pointed out that other partners actively support the agreement, namely the AICS office in Tunis, the Italian Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation and the Embassy of Tripoli.
“All of these are prerequisites that make me particularly confident that this new agreement will achieve the desired results and, more importantly, give new lives to 25 young Libyan patients,” he said.
A new sense of urgency
After the signing of the agreement, the President of Bambino Gesù, Mariella Enoc, spoke of the need to take responsibility for the most vulnerable.
The young patients are being identified by the Italian Embassy in Tripoli in close coordination with the children’s hospitals in Tripoli, Benghazi, Sebha and Kufr, who share relevant medical information and support the continuation of care and treatment upon their return to Libya.
The initiative is the result of a partnership between the same parties, started in 2019, which has so far been able to offer treatment to 12 young Libyans with oncohaematological diseases.–Vatican News