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MSF in Italy, 2007
Field Staff: 32
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The plight of migrants arriving and living Italy continues to be worrying. MSF provides medical care, but for many the reality of life in Italy is more precarious than expected.
Every year, thousands of migrants arrive in Italy having made the precarious boat journey across the Mediterranean sea to Europe. Many lives are lost. Survivors arrive exhausted and dehydrated, suffering from respiratory infections and skin complaints, caused by overexposure to salt and water and burns from fuel accidents. MSF has established a base at one of the most used landing points on the Island of Lampedusa, providing medical help to more than 12,000 migrants in 2007.
MSF continues to work in the Campania region, in Caserta and Naples provinces, running various clinics for undocumented migrants. The area is one of the most deprived in Italy and home to a large number of illegal migrants who live in extremely difficult conditions. The MSF project focuses specifically on women migrants employed as sex workers. It includes outreach activities and medical care for sexually transmitted infections and HIV/AIDS prevention. More than 7,000 consultations were performed in the MSF clinics in 2007.
MSF provides medical care, but for many the reality of life in Italy is more precarious than expected.
Many thousands of migrants move around southern Italy to work as seasonal farm workers in the fields. Most are young men from Africa with no permit to stay in Italy. Between July and November 2007, at the same time as providing medical services, an MSF team interviewed over 600 seasonal workers. A full report of the results will be issued in 2008 but the initial picture is one of poor living, working and health conditions.
After five years of carrying out programs in Sicily, MSF handed over all clinics for undocumented migrants to the Ministry of Health.
MSF has worked in Italy since 1999.