15th International Workshop “Culture, Health and Migration”
1ST CONSENSUS CONFERENCE “POVERTY, HEALTH AND DEVELOPMENT”
4-5 December 2008
NIHMP Conference Hall
Via di San Gallicano 25/A – 00153, Rome
«I would like that in 2050 the world would finally leave behind poverty… Poverty does not belong in civilized human society. Its proper place is in a museum. That’s where it will be. When Shoolchildren go with their teachers and tour the poverty museums they will be horrified to see the misery and indignity of human beings. They will blame their forefathers for tolerating this inhuman condition and for allowing to continue in such a large segment of the population until the early part of the twenty-first century.»
Extract from “Banker to the poor” Muhammad Yunus, winner of the Nobel Peace Prize 2006
The right to health and to medical care is the main development and dignity indicator. Today, 80% of the world population do not benefit from available prevention and treatments. In fact, while the scientific research has gone so far as to plan an artificial big bang, still hundreds of millions of people do not enjoy their fundamental rights.
The gap between rich and developing countries is shocking: life expectancy in Japan is 84 years, in Sierra Leone it is 34. In Ethiopia, 77 children out of 1,000 do not reach their first year and millions of them do not get vaccinated and die of economically preventable diseases. This happens not only in the Third World, even in developed countries there are 354 millions of poor people – in Italy they are 15 millions – and every day a new kind of poverty appears. Poverty means to live in insecurity and illegal conditions: minimum-income pensioners, short term workers, call-centre employees, single-income families, migrants. Poverty is a multidimensional problem with ever increasing new aspects: it means insufficient income, social exclusion, difficult or impossible access to health services, bad health conditions, illitteracy, lack of affective relations, family disintegration and job insecurity temporary employment.
It is necessary to study these themes with a multidisciplinary approach and with the purpose of recognizing to every human being the right to have a decent life, access to health care services, the dream of seeing violence replaced by tenderness.
The gap between those who benefit from progress and wellbeing and those who are excluded from these privileges is growing and is not acceptable. Will this limit we have reached become a threshold? It is necessary to accept the challenge of the Iranian Shirin Ebadi, Nobel Laureate for Peace, “to cherish our think in terms of dreams while acting realistically” and with scientific accuracy.
Topics of the workshop were health risk factors, work, nutrition and human rights. Doctors, nurses, psychologists, health workers, anthropologists, sociologists and representatives of governmental institutions and public authorities, school, voluntary organizations, Italian and foreign scientific institutions and societies took part in the event.
Dr Paola Scardella, Mrs. Rita Carico – Tel. +39 6 5854 3714/3780 – Fax +39 6 5854 3686
email : firstname.lastname@example.org