On past September 14, addressing the participants of a meeting to discuss the responses to the crisis in Syria and Iraq, the Holy Father praised the great work carried out through the Open Hospitals project to provide health care to the poorest in Syria
Photos by Aldo Gianfrante
September 16, 2018 _ “Among the many praiseworthy initiatives that you have promoted, this year I would like to mention the great work to support the return of the Christian communities to the plain of Nineveh, in Iraq, and the healthcare offered to many poor people in Syria, in particular through the project Open Hospitals". With these words, Pope Francis praised AVSI’s Open Hospitals project during his opening speech at this year’s meeting to discuss the crisis in Syria and Iraq.
Open Hospitals was born as a concrete answer to the healthcare crisis in Syria after seven years of war, through the initiative of Cardinal Mario Zenari, Apostolic Nuncio in Syria and the support of the Holy See. AVSI designed the intervention and is in charge of the procurement of the financial resources and of the overall management of the project in partnership with the participating facilities. In fact the main objective is to restore three hospitals in Syria - the Italian hospital and the French hospital in Damascus and St. Louis hospital in Aleppo – to full functionality, with the focus on ensuring access to hospital care, free of charge, for the poorest and most vulnerable.
From Dec 1st, 2017 to June 30th, 2018 the project has assured free treatment to 7,119 poor patients (of which 4,121 are women). The estimate for the second semester of 2018 is to reach almost 9,300 more.
Open Hospitals aims to treat at least 45,000 disadvantaged people over the next two years.