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Zambia – Italy’s new humanitarian mission

A new Italian humanitarian mission has started in Zambia. Following the success of the initiative launched last February, ten voluntary professionals, coordinated by two heart surgeons, Stefano Marianeschi and Carlo Massini, are currently working at the University Teaching Hospital in Lusaka to operate on 10 children suffering from serious heart pathologies and to upgrade the skills local staff, training them during surgery and in the post-operation phase. The mission in Zambia is composed of cardiologists Nadia Assanta and Giovanni Bellagamba, anaesthetists Marco Meli, Elena Ferrari Elena, and Sandra Nonini Sandra, ICU specialist Alba Palacios, ICU nurses Massimo Missana and Letizia Toccaceli, together with perfusionists Cosimo Popolizio and Elisa Davolio.

“Mission Bambini” falls within the framework of the “Cuore di Bimbi” programme launched in 2006 and finances these medical missions. In 10 years, 1,667 children have been operated on and saved; 13,342 children were subjected to a cardiological screening and over 100 local physicians were given free training in different countries in Africa, Asia and Eastern Europe. Thanks to the remarkable support given by the Italian Embassy, headed by Ambassador Filippo Scamacca, a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) will be signed between the Lusaka University Teaching Hospital and the Fondazione Mission Bambini. The MoU will formalise the partnership for upcoming years, with a view to developing paediatric cardio-surgery in Zambia.

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