The Italian Minister for International Cooperation and Integration, Andrea Riccardi, visited the NIHMP
On May 23rd 2012, the Italian Minister for International Cooperation and Integration, Andrea Riccardi, visited the National Institute for Health, Migration and Poverty (NIHMP) in Rome.
The NIHMP Director-General, Concetta Mirisola, and the other NIHMP directors received Minister Riccardi in the Anatomical Theatre of the Institute, which in 1854 was the seat of the first chair of Dermatology. Director Mirisola showed the activities of the Institute aimed at fighting social and health care inequalities affecting new marginalised and poor people. The Institute adopts a holistic transcultural and transdisciplinary model also involving cultural mediators and anthropologists; its social and health care services, including social dentistry and social ophthalmology, are open every day, also on Saturday and Sunday.
The Director showed the activity of the three Regional centres in Sicily, Apulia and Lazio; she presented the emergency activities implemented in the island of Lampedusa and the involvement of the Institute in the technical table on health and migration organised by the Italian Minister of Health, Renato Balduzzi, for managing the reception of migrants in 2012. Director Mirisola also spoke about the past international activities in Malta and Ethiopia and the future activities in Djibouti.
Minister Riccardi expressed his appreciation for the holistic model adopted by the Institute. “Human beings are not made of individual pieces. Migrants are affected by different problems which require different solutions. The NIHMP, whose activities are open to the city and the whole world, represents a model for integration”.
Director Mirisola showed to Minister Riccardi the NIHMP outpatient department, where tens of thousands of foreign and Italian people, often in difficult social conditions, are received every year.
Minister Riccardi congratulated the NIHMP staff on the quality of the reception provided. He outlined the important role of the Institute in the framework of the emergency of Lampedusa in 2011.
The Institute, said Minister Riccardi, has represented for many years a referral point for fragile Italian and foreign population groups. It created a social and health care model involving medical professionals, medical anthropologists and cultural mediators and favouring integration.
Minister Riccardi acknowledged the value of the social medicine projects and the daily commitment of the Institute staff in the provision of assistance, comfort and support to thousands of marginalised and excluded people, in network with other associations. He expressed his wish for the stabilisation of the NIHMP, which can become one of the referral models for the national health service.