Dr Stefano may be pictured leaning up against these words, but they mean so much more than just paint on a wall.
“I came to the Mayo camp when I was a child. My parents had escaped from South Sudan, because of the war. I lived here for many years and, even though I live in the city now, I come back here every day.”
“I’ve been working in EMERGENCY’s Paediatric Centre for 10 years, so practically since it opened. During these years, the camp has grown bigger. Lots more refugees have arrived, though nobody knows exactly how many.”
“EMERGENCY’s work has increased too. Now, for instance, we’ve got a midwifery service for pregnant women, we’ve got health promoters, and we do lots of prevention work.”
“I’ve seen many children – more than 100 every day. Some of them were in desperate conditions and we couldn’t do anything for them, but for many others this Centre has been their lifeline.”
“I love my work. I know I really am useful for these people who wouldn’t be able to pay for their treatment. And, what’s more, I’ve just become a team leader: I’m so proud!”
The Mayo refugee camp, on the outskirts of Khartoum, was opened twenty years ago for refugees of the war between Sudan and South Sudan. Over the years, with the arrival of refugees from Darfur, the camp has expanded and is now home to 400,000 people who live in conditions of basic survival.
The only health facility providing free treatment for the population is EMERGENCY’s paediatric centre, opened in December 2005 in the Angola area.
Every day, around a hundred mothers and children come to the Centre: the EMERGENCY staff perform a triage to understand which patients need to be examined first. Children in a critical condition are hospitalised for daily observation in a 6-bed ward. The most serious are transferred by ambulance to public hospitals, where we continue to monitor their conditions until they are discharged.