It all began with an operating room and a vision, a vision that would reaffirm healthcare as a human right.
We began with places affected by war and by poverty, where this right had been taken away or forgotten.
It was in these places that EMERGENCY planted its roots, and became a source of stability, protection and shelter.
Today, EMERGENCY turns 25 years old.
For all that time, we have always offered free medical treatment, and shown respect for human dignity by ensuring that this treatment is both high-quality and completely free.
We’ve built hospitals, brick by brick, and in doing so we’ve always strived for beauty, as beauty is itself a form of therapy. We have endeavoured to achieve excellence and train local staff, with the aim of establishing firm foundations – our work is only done when we are no longer needed.
Our story began in 1994, in a hospital in Kigali, Rwanda, where the surgery, obstetrics and gynaecology wards were reopened by our founder, Dr Gino Strada. Outside the hospital, war raged on. Inside, we believed in the value of human life.
We held that belief in Iraq, too. And Afghanistan. And Cambodia, and Serbia, and Eritrea – in fact, in every one of the 18 countries where we’ve worked. That same belief has driven us to treat over 10 million patients around the world.
EMERGENCY doesn’t just mean war surgery – it means medicine, rights and equality.