journalist daniele Rocchi (AGENSIR.it) visits the Italian Hospital and the French Hospital in Damascus, and the Saint Louis Hospital in Aleppo to talk with some patients about AVSI's Open hospitals project
An extract from the article originally published by AgenSIR
By Daniele Rocchi
Photos by Marco Calvarese
June 13, 2019 _ “I spent months immobilized. I couldn’t walk or work. I couldn’t even afford to buy candy for my son,” remembers Ibrahim.
Two years ago, Ibrahim saw his house get hit by a rocket and suddenly bricks were collapsing on his body causing disjointed fractures on his leg.
“It is only thanks to the healthcare workers and the doctors that treated me at the French hospital in Damascus that today I can dream once more about a better future for my family and myself," says Ibrahim.
Ibrahim is one of the 23,000 Syrians who have so far received free treatment thanks to the project “Open Hospitals”, launched in Syria in 2017 on the initiative of Cardinal Mario Zenari, Apostolic Nuncio to Syria and implemented by AVSI as a response to the humanitarian crisis in Syria.
Ibrahim's dreams are those shared by all Syrians: “to see the end of the war, to return to a peaceful life with a job and a home.”
"Open Hospitals" guarantees access to free health care services for the most vulnerable and impoverished patients. Since November 2017, the Italian Hospital and the French Hospital in Damascus and the Saint Louis Hospital in Aleppo have offered free medical services to 22,779 patients. Now the goal is to serve at least 50,000 people by the end of 2020.
“We treat all patients with the dignity they deserve, they are human beings in need of health care”, says Joseph Fares, Head Physician at the Italian Hospital.
“Doctors don’t ask patients if they are Christian or Muslim, members of the opposition or government forces, or terrorists. They are all creatures of God, poor and in need of medical treatment,” says Cardinal Zenari.
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