Pope praises work of Italian NGO ensuring health care in Africa

On Saturday, Pope Francis met with doctors from Africa CUAMM, an Italian Catholic non-governmental organization promoting healthcare in Africa, on the sidelines of their annual meeting in Rome.

By Vatican News Staff Writer

Formerly known as the University College for Aspiring Missionary Doctors, CUAMM was established in 1950 and is currently affiliated with African hospitals in seven African countries – Angola, Ethiopia, Mozambique, South Sudan, Sierra Leone, Tanzania and Uganda. Working in partnership with Nursing and Midwifery. Schools and Universities. Its projects and research focus on maternal, child and newborn health; infectious disease; universal health coverage and equity; Nutrition and chronic diseases.

Welcoming members of the association to the Vatican on Saturday morning, Pope Francis recalled the history of the group that began 70 years ago in Padua, Italy, when a hostel opened to host young African medical students. Since that time Outreach has provided sharing and service to the entire African continent promoting medical care, local training and development.

Healthcare, a primary good

The Pope described CUAMM’s work as a concrete example of putting in what we ask our Father to “give us this day our daily bread” with bread in this case. Health, the Pope said, is a “primary good” like bread, water, home or work. He applauded her efforts to provide access to basic health care and provided a contrast to the billions spent on weapons. Yet the needs are enormous, and it is remembered how many others still cannot safely give birth to their children and have children dying in infancy.

Central African Republic and South Sudan

Recalling his visit to the Central African Republic in 2015 to open the Holy Door in the capital Bangui, the pope also recalled South Sudan, which he hopes to visit early next year. As for poor and fragile countries, often exploited for resources, the Pope said “instead the Lord considers his loved ones, in whom he sends you, the Good Samaritan, to be a witness of his Gospel.”

“Don’t be afraid to face tough challenges, to intervene in remote places marked by violence, where populations don’t have the opportunity to care. Be with them! If it takes years of hard work, if it takes persistence to achieve results Do not be discouraged if there are disappointments and failures. Be steadfast with firm service and dialogue, be open to all as a tool of peace in overcoming conflicts.”

working together

The Pope also paid respect to how CUAMM works in Africa to more effectively share, support and promote the communities it serves in Africa, always in collaboration with local churches and institutions. By joining forces and sharing experiences and expertise, they can better serve everyone, he said, especially as the COVID pandemic, war and economic crisis take a toll on everyone’s lives, exacerbating poverty, hunger and malnutrition. Gave. The Pope described it as a hidden “war” that is often overlooked and that “instead impacts the hardest hit, especially the poorest.”

“May God help you to pass through this “night” with courage, turn your hearts to the dawn, which will illuminate the little twigs of hope that we already glimpse and of which you yourself are witnesses. I thank you for being the voice of what Africa is experiencing; for bringing to the surface the hidden and silent suffering of the poor you encounter in your daily commitment.

He urged them to continue giving Africa a voice, promoting awareness, telling the world about their struggles and hopes “to awaken the conscience of a world that sometimes focuses too much on itself”. and less on the other. The Lord hears his cry.” oppressed people and asks us to be artisans of a new future, humble and determined, together with the poor.”

bring leaders

Finally, the Pope encouraged them to focus especially on young people by encouraging them in every way, through trainings, meetings, university exchange programs, etc., so that they can make present and future contributions to good in their home countries. To become the heroes of the future, to bring leaders. Capable of advancing integral human development.

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