Home Health Don Carraro (CUAMM): “We increase vaccines, Covid is defeated with Africa”

Don Carraro (CUAMM): “We increase vaccines, Covid is defeated with Africa”

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“Do you know what was the first case of Covid in the Central African Republic? A missionary from Veneto returned from holidays in Italy in February 2020. Covid has shown that the parties are quick to reverse and there are no barriers. The future is necessarily built global, together as living beings, part of the ecosystem “says Don Dante Carraro, director of Doctors with Africa (CUAMM), who launches an appeal to share patents and increase vaccine doses, also redistributing them from countries that have stocked it up for the benefit of countries that need the first dose.

Founded in 1955, the Padua NGO has sent over 1,600 people to 41 intervention countries, especially in Africa, to bring care and services even to those who live in the poorest places in the world. An action that sees the organization alongside local doctors and nurses in hospitals, districts, schools and universities in Angola, Ethiopia, Mozambique, Central African Republic, Sierra Leone, South Sudan, Tanzania and Uganda.

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All united against Covid

“Covid has shown that we are all in the same boat as human beings, there are no barriers. Even as living beings we are one in the environment. We had already seen with Ebola in 2014-2015 in Sierra Leone how much the spillover was linked to the destruction of natural habitats following deforestation, freeing animals that carry the virus with them. A vicious circle is thus established between savage exploitation and the onset of diseases to the detriment of everyone and everything, including the economy, as we have seen. It is clear then that we are saved together. In our 30 university centers we have courses in Global Health, ”says Don Carraro, a cardiologist who has been commuting between Africa and Italy since 1995. From his experience he drew lessons collected in the book «What we can learn in Africa. Health as a common good ”written with Paolo di Paolo, Laterza editions (148 pp. 18 euro).

The vaccination campaign

“We have launched a vaccination campaign for two reasons: because it is right to give the same opportunity to all people and because if we don’t vaccinate in Africa we won’t get out of it either because of new variants that undermine herd immunity” explained Don Dante at the presentation of the book, at the invitation of the Municipality of Brusson (Aosta). «In Italy 70 million doses have been injected, to 65-67% of the population. In Africa? The same number: 70 million doses for the benefit of less than 1% of the population! Now the doses must be increased immediately and patents and technologies shared, otherwise we will not get out ». The CUAMM director also denounced the iniquity of countries such as Canada, which has 210 million doses available against 35 million inhabitants. “We are now engaged in the transport of the doses up to the last mile to reach the most remote districts, in the supply of generators for refrigerators, in the training of local personnel, in the mobilization of the community and in the registration of vaccinations, not taken for granted where there is no registry office ». The vaccination campaign aims to achieve 51 districts of 6 countries in which it is present: Angola, Ethiopia, Mozambique, Sierra Leone, South Sudan, Uganda, for a total population of about 5 million inhabitants.

Field experience with Africans

«You are doctors with Africa and not for Africa. And this is important ”Pope Francis underlined in the special audience with CUAMM. A marking to recognize the commitment of the NGO. «Our intent is to build together. We sign an agreement with the Africans, a pact of alliance where everyone is called to do their part »says Don Carraro, recounting how the model of cooperation has evolved over the decades. “There is, and is very widespread, cooperation from above, a cooperation made only of documents, strategies, perhaps elaborated in a nice office, in the cool, sitting on a comfortable armchair, the result of discussions made ten thousand kilometers from place we are dealing with – he writes in his book – Everything risks being reduced to theory, to discussion on the different models of approach, to adherence to one or the other intervention strategy. Someone, for example, comes to propose a cooperation made only by an aseptic transfer of money. But the resources of money alone are not enough. What is missing is that “with”, the effective compromise with real life, there is a lack of opportunities to grow together ».

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