Monday, August 16, 2021


As most of the world watches, seemingly helplessly, events in Afghanistan today, Italy mourns the loss of a very rare man, someone who, seeing suffering and seeing need, was determined and able to do something about it - the humanitarian and surgeon Gino Strada, who died on 13th August at the age of 73.

After becoming a heart-lung transplant surgeon, Gino Strada worked with the International Committee of the Red Cross before founding, with his wife and colleagues, the medical humanitarian organisation Emergency in 1994. He wanted to help not only direct victims of war, but also those who, because of war, had no access to healthcare and therefore became medically vulnerable. He saw access to free healthcare as a human right. His first project with Emergency was in Rwanda during the genocide and he spent seven years in Afghanistan, opening a much-needed maternity centre there which was recognised by the Afghan Ministry of Health. He also opened a cardiac surgery centre in Khartoum (Sudan) and worked on many other projects in numerous countries. 

Gino Strada continued to speak out and demonstrate against fascism even in his last years and the people of Afghanistan were in his thoughts until the end. Of war he said,

In his book Pappagalli Verdi, Gino Strada wrote,

Quel che facciamo per loro, noi e altri, quel che possiamo fare con le nostre forze, è forse meno di una gocciolina nell’oceano. Ma resto dell’idea che è meglio che ci sia, quella gocciolina, perché se non ci fosse sarebbe peggio per tutti.

What we, and others, do for them, what we can do with the strength that we have, is perhaps less than a small drop in the ocean. But I still believe that it is better that this small drop is there, because if it wasn't the situation would probably be worse for everyone.

- A very large drop, in my opinion, Doctor Strada.

Gino Strada

21 April 1948 - 13 August 2021

No comments:


View My Stats