Since 2013 the Foundation's medical teams have worked on board of the Italian Navy's ships to save and rescue migrants adrift in the Sicily Channel, providing first aid to 70,000 people and focusing on mother and child emergency healthcare: to date the Foundation's pediatricians, gynecologists and midwives assisted 10,000 women, 9,000 children, 500 pregnant women, several of them during labor and delivery. An estimated 2,000 women and 1,500 children will need help in the next months.
Women and children embarking on treacherous journeys to escape hunger and wars are found at sea in a desperate life threatening condition, due not only to dehydration, hydrocarbons and sun induced burns, crash syndrome, but also suffering from the consequences of violence and sexual abuse. Pregnant women and babies are especially at risk. To assist them with specialized first aid as soon as they are brought on board of the Navy ships, is of paramount importance.
We select and coordinate teams of experienced doctors, nurses, midwives. We equip them with sonographs, emergency medicines and delivery kits. On board of the ships patrolling the Mediterreanean, our medical volunteers take part in the search and rescue operations and triage of the migrants. The growing emergency in the Mediterranean, with a two digit increase of refugees departing from Lybia as compared to last year, requires additional human resources in the front line.
The main impact of this project is immediate because it 's an emergency program. However, a prompt assistance and monitoring of a pregnant woman and a safe childbirth lowers the risk of maternal death and prevents long term neurological and physical damages to newborns.
This project has provided additional documentation in a PDF file (projdoc.pdf).