The Italian Minister of Health, Renato Balduzzi, participated in the NIHMP Christmas lunch with the homeless
On December 20, 2011, the Italian Minister of Health, Renato Balduzzi, the Bishop of Terni, Monsignor Vincenzo Paglia, and the NIHMP Director General, Concetta Mirisola, shared a Christmas lunch with the homeless at the National Institute for Health, Migration and Poverty (NIHMP).
Since many years, the NIHMP is committed with the assistance of the homeless. This population group is composed of old and new poor people, irregular migrants, nomads, unemployed people, drug and alcohol addicts. The aim is to fight inequalities in the access to health services and to overcome social barriers between the resident population and homeless people. They are fragile people looking for medical services, but even more for support and shelter.
Over the last few years, the NIHMP registered about 4,000 admissions of homeless people to the social and health care transdisciplinary services. Out of this group, 65% are men and 85% are foreigners; as regards women, 12% are Italian. They mostly are young people between 18 and 34 years, affected by malnutrition or undernourishment-related disorders and psycho-emotional stress.
The NIHMP carries on a daily work including outpatient services, also available in the weekend, and social services, such as the participation in the Piano Freddo (Winter Programme) 2011-2012 of the Municipality of Rome aimed at sheltering the homeless from cold.
Minister Balduzzi visited the NIHMP outpatient department and met the patients, as well as the medical operators and the cultural mediators who work every day for fighting the lack of possibilities which affects fragile groups much more than medical problems.