Doctors Without Borders (MSF) has published a report "Including the Excluded" on the organization's work to provide medical care to migrants and refugees living at the occupied former Olympic village in Turin known as the ex-MOI. MSF said it allowed marginalized people to enjoy their "right to health."
Doctors Without Borders (MSF) said in a newly released report that it provided medical care to 469 people, including 40 women and 14 minors, living at the occupied former Olympic village in Turin known as the ex-MOI.
A reported 74 percent of the people assisted by MSF at the former Olympic village were not registered with the national health service, the organization said in the report "Including the Excluded." MSF said 82 percent did not have a family doctor or pediatrician.
The report focused on the results of an orientation project involving public health services, implemented in cooperation with local municipal and health authorities.
The project's numbers
Two intercultural mediators were selected among residents of the ex-MOI and trained by MSF for the project. As of December 31, 2018, a reported 275 people were helped through the project, including 67 percent of migrants and refugees living in one of the buildings of the former Olympic village.
In 60 percent of the cases examined, the organization helped migrants to register or renew their registration with the national health service. Mediators in total helped file 111 practices with the ASL local health agency for healthcare coverage.
"The closest ASL to the Ex-MOI is 600 meters away yet, prior to our intervention, seven out of 10 residents, mostly with international or humanitarian protection, were not registered" with the national health service, said the president of MSF Italy Claudia Lodesani. "Now, thanks to the cooperation with ASL and the city of Turin, we have succeeded in including these people in the public healthcare" system and, more in general, "we have contributed in overcoming their isolation from the local community."
Cultural mediators key figures
Intercultural mediators selected among Ex-MOI residents and trained by MSF played a key role, together with volunteers and operators, in informing residents and helping them at the local ASL, overcoming linguistic and cultural barriers. "When I lived at the Ex-MOI, nobody gave us information on how to get a doctor, obtain a health insurance card or residence. People helped each other, but it wasn't enough," said Lamin Sisi Mamman, an intercultural mediator for MSF.
"At first it was just us of MSF who looked for people inside the buildings to provide information, today they calls us day and night to talk about their problems or ask for advice. It's hard work but I like to help others very much", said Gighi Tounkara, who also works as an intercultural mediator for the organization. In order to guarantee medical care to migrants and refugees, MSF is asking authorities to help residents get healthcare coverage and to include intercultural mediators in the process in order to attract a higher number of refugees and migrants.