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Charity monitoring in shelters for the homeless and unaccompanied migrant children in Italy

Posted on 23rd March 2020 at 14:37pm

The charity Emergency, in collaboration with Milan’s municipal government in Italy, has begun a project to help the most vulnerable people in society who run a higher risk of catching the coronavirus and suffering its effects.

The project's work is managed by two teams, each made up of a nurse, a logistician, and a doctor in case of need. Photo: Emergency

The project involves monitoring in shelters for homeless people and unaccompanied migrant children within the Siproimi (formerly Sprar) system. Over the next few hours, the charity will work to reach more places on top of the 34 shelters it has covered so far, including intermediary shelters and certain gypsy camps as pointed out by Milan’s municipal government.

The work is managed by two teams from Emergency, each made up of a nurse, a logistician, and a doctor in case of need. The aim is to monitor the situation at the centres; see how the spaces are run when it comes to hygiene, safe distances and cleaning; and make sure that the government’s instructions are being followed. After doing these checks, Emergency points out any changes that need to be made in order to keep staff and patients healthy. It also trains staff at the facilities in protocols and it provides tutorials to follow to help them manage the emergency more effectively.

After the initial inspections, the charity conducts follow-up visits at the weakest facilities, some of which have seen their patients test positive for coronavirus in the last few days. As of March 20, Emergency will give basic training to Co-operativa Dar Casa, so it can let homeless people go into quarantine in its building on Via Carbonia in the Quarto Oggiaro neighbourhood.

“At this very difficult time, we need to be concerned about protecting everyone’s health, and that includes the most vulnerable people in society, the people who risk being left behind. That’s the principle our work has always rested on and always will – providing treatment for everyone, with no exceptions, in safety. Homeless people, migrants living in shelters, seasonal workers living in shacks. At the moment we are doing our best to help the many people at risk from two things – being ill and being abandoned,” says Rossella Miccio, President of Emergency.

The skilled workers at Emergency are putting their valuable experience of fighting Sierra Leone’s Ebola virus outbreak in 2014-15 to excellent use in Italy.

To support Emergency in its work, please visit here

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