The "SFIDE" alongside EMERGENCY: Women's Health, Inclusion, Rights and Equity
Meeting, care and dialogue to guarantee health services and health reference points in the most fragile areas of the country: this is the goal of the S.F.I.D.E. project that we support alongside EMERGENCY, in particular in the clinics in the Ponticelli district in Naples and in Castel Volturno, in the province of Caserta. Free assistance, prevention activities, pediatric and gynecological care, psychological support, orientation and linguistic mediation are some of the services that EMERGENCY, with its qualified and multidisciplinary teams, offers to people in difficulty, especially migrant women and children.
The first aid
Numerous health services are active and present in Italy, but often the people EMERGENCY helps are not aware of them. For this reason, the clinics set up for the project are the first meeting point between patients and the Italian healthcare system, where the ultimate goal is to make each person understand how to be more independent.
“Cultural mediators, doctors, nurses and psychologists try to give an initial response to the needs of these people, the first socio-health assistance. Then we direct them towards the services available in the area to make each patient more autonomous in managing their health.”
Andrea Belardinelli, S.F.I.D.E Project Coordinator.
Autonomy arises from greater knowledge of a new culture and the territory in which they live. “They don’t know how to defend their rights, they don’t know that these treatments and health, here, are a right, and not knowing how to speak our language well, they don’t know how to communicate it” says Dino Rossi, Cultural Mediator of the Ponticelli Clinic. Many times, he adds, some diagnosed pathologies could have been avoided with proper prevention, and this is also where the project invests a lot of its energy.
Healthcare and communication need
Although this project was born mainly for migrants, the clinics have seen many compatriots enter with difficult situations. "People from Salerno, patients from all over Campania, Italian and foreign”, explains Dino Rossi who found a large and unexpected majority of female patients: “usually migrants are mostly male, but here we support many women from Eastern Europe, Nigeria, victims of trafficking and violence, obstetric and gynecological problems.”
One of the many advances in supporting these people, one of the most known is about children’s health: from March the 17th 2022, children from non-EU families in Campania are entitled to a free pediatrician, a result that comes after having assisted more than 700 children between 0 and 3 years. But what is the biggest obstacle on which we need to work to help these people more and more? The Communication, the persistent linguistic and cultural barriers.
“This situation could be facilitated by cultural linguistic mediators specialized in the health field throughout the national territory, who favor communication in both directions, from the patient to the health facility and vice-versa.”
Dino Rossi, Cultural mediator of Ponticelli Clinic
Cultural mediators play a fundamental role: they inform patients, help them access the National Health Service, accompany them in case they have to undergo specialist visits or examinations at public facilities, smoothing out linguistic, cultural and administrative difficulties.