Doctors Without Borders operators in Rome | Photo: MSF/Doctors Without Borders/Medici Sanza Frontiere
Doctors Without Borders operators in Rome | Photo: MSF/Doctors Without Borders/Medici Sanza Frontiere

Doctors Without Borders (MSF) is working with local health authorities in eastern Rome to provide medical assistance to marginalized women. Services include pregnancy check-ups, cancer screenings and support for victims of gender-based violence and genital mutilation.

A project organized by medical aid organization Doctors Without Borders (MSF) in Rome together with local health authority ASL Roma 2 provides medical assistance to women in low-income districts with a large migrant population, the international medical humanitarian organization said in a press release on August 5.

The project is called SA.I.DA. (which is an acronym for 'integrated health for women' in Italian). It was launched in May and will last for two years. It is aimed primarily at migrant women, but Italians can also use the services.

Migrants face barriers in accessing healthcare

Francesca Zuccaro, MSF's project coordinator, said "too often access to services is difficult -- in particular for the foreign population and for those living in informal housing -- due to various difficulties, such as a lack of information or linguistic and cultural barriers."

The project includes not just medical consultations at three family counseling centers run by ASL Roma2. MSF's team also visits local communities so that they can inform residents about the services they offer, help those in need and understand their needs. "MSF operators reach people in the places where they live, meet or are first hosted, to understand what they need in terms of health and support," Zuccaro said.

Pregnancy consultations, cancer screenings, support for victims of violence

The all-female MSF team includes an obstetrician, a psychologist, a health promoter, a socio-legal operator and a cultural mediator. The ASL counseling centers' medical personnel also takes part in the project.

The healthcare services MSF and ASL provide include family planning, pregnancy and maternity consultations, cervical cancer screenings, and support for victims of female genital mutilation and gender-based violence (including for victims of sexual violence, like trafficking victims).

MSF said that in the first three months of the project, its team directly assisted 92 women with medical, social and legal issues. In the same period, over 400 people were reached through information and promotion activities, according to the aid organization.

How can I use the healthcare service?

The project focuses on eastern Rome, in particular the districts Municipio 4, 5 and 6, where many residents belong to marginalized communities, MSF said. The medical organization is present three days a week in three family counseling centers run by ASL Roma2 and also visits homes and meeting places in the neighborhoods to contact women in need.

The opening hours and adresses of the counseling centers are:

  • Via H. Spencer, 282 | every Tuesday from 2.30pm to 5pm
  • Via Manfredonia, 43 | every Thursday from 11am to 1pm
  • Via San Benedetto del Tronto | every Wednesday from 9am to 1pm

Appointments during these openings hours can be booked by (mobile) phone: +39 3387287941.


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