Thursday, 26 June 2003

Rome (Fides Service) – The St John of God Hospitaller Brothers have reached an agreement for health cooperation in Cameroon. The president of the Association of the Brothers for Distant Sick, AFMAL Brother Pietro Cicinelli and the Superior of the Rome Province of the Order, Brother Angelico Bellino, met the Cameroon health minister Urbani Olanguean in Rome to lay the bases for fruitful collaboration between the Order and Cameroon in the field of healthcare cooperation. The Association is present in Cameroon where it follows a number of projects in two hospitals run by the Brothers at Beroua and Yagoua. The support and help offered by the Order this country is most important also in view of the Families First Africa UNESCO programme which intends by 2004 to distribute a new anti-AIDS vaccine in a number of countries, including Cameroon. Figures issued by the World Health Organisation with regard to AIDS are alarming: they speak of 14,000 new cases every day in the world, 95% in developing countries. Of these 14,000 sufferers, about 2,000 are under 15 years of age, and the other 12,000 are adults between 15 and 49, 50% of them women. So far 42 million people in the world have contracted AIDS, 30 million in Africa, 1.9 million in Latin America and the Caribbean. The Association of the Brothers for Distant Sick has made available its medical experience, personnel and volunteers as well as its structures to support and help the struggle against AIDS.
“They need concrete and professional help – says Father Pietro Cicinelli – and AFMAL is able to do this, from the medical and humanitarian point of view, the guarantee what is necessary”. AFMAL was established in 1979 and in 1995 it was recognised by the Italian foreign ministry and the European Union. It supports development in the field of healthcare, organises and runs projects, which are often integrated in collaboration with NGOs and other humanitarian associations in the fields of healthcare, farming, small industry, education and formation.
AFMAL also collaborate with the Italian foreign ministry to organise and run basic medical projects in various parts of the world and to provide concrete support to activities of development and social health assistance. AP (Fides Service 26/6/2003 EM lines 31 Words: 414)