Saturday, December 17, 2016

Pope receives young patients of 'Bambino Gesù' Hospital

Fifteen children from the Central African Republic accompanied by their new Cardinal, the Archbishop of Bangui, Dieudonné Nzapalainga, were amongst those present on Thursday morning for a special audience with Pope Francis.

It was special because the children the Pope met are patients of the Vatican’s Children’s Hospital: the ‘Bambino Gesù’.   

A press release from the Hospital reveals that the first few rows in the Paul VI Hall were reserved for some 150 young patients; many of them come from Italy but some of them, it says, came from the “peripheries of the world”.

They came from far, having travelled to this medical center of excellence and research from countries such as Argentina, Venezuela, Pakistan, Nepal, Russia, Lebanon, Moldavia, Ukraine, Bulgaria, Albania, Serbia, Poland, Congo and Nigeria as well as from the Central African Republic.  

Hospital doctors and medical staff, employees, volunteers and the families of the little patients were present together with the Vatican Secretary of State, Cardinal Pietro Parolin.

During the audience, the President of the ‘Bambino Gesù’, Mariella Enoc, talked about how the Pediatric Hospital has become the largest of its kind in Europe, with connections to leading international centers in the sector. 

She explained how, in various ways, the hospital staff of almost 2,500 people treats and cares for a large number of patients, and of how over 1.550.000 healthcare services are provided each year to children and adolescents from all over the world.

Enoc also talked about how the hospital, which was founded in 1869, has developed a ‘Bambino Gesù System’ that stretches well beyond regional boundaries with the establishment of Centers in Southern Italy that aim to eliminate the long "journeys of hope" that weigh not only on young patients but also on their families, with demanding relocations that have significant financial and social costs for all.

Equally important are the Hospital’s international missions in developing nations. 

Today the ‘Bambino Gesù’ is present in 12 countries, with the goal of providing care and passing on its experience in the poorest areas of the world. 

It is also active with special cooperation projects in Jordan, Palestine and the Central African Republic.

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