Almaty (Agenzia Fides) - The Catholic Church in Kazakhstan is committed to the common good of the country and tries to support the national health system in the fight against Covid-19. In response to the spread of the coronavirus, Caritas Kazakhstan has launched a new long-term project, entitled "Stop-Covid Kz". The goal is to get closer to the country's vulnerable and imperfect health system, especially in regions far from central cities, in order to provide health workers with adequate professional support. To this end, Caritas has started twinning between Italian and Kazakh hospitals, so that the former can offer advice to the latter: Fr. Trezzani, an Italian missionary in the country and Director of Caritas Kazakhstan, reports to Agenzia Fides: "A few days ago we started the first collaboration between a facility in Almaty and San Raffaele hospital in Milan, a prestigious facility in Italy. We would like our action not to be limited to the emergency of the pandemic, but to continue over time". San Raffaele is a scientific institute and a highly specialized and internationally recognized university polyclinic, founded in 1971 to provide specialized treatments and contribute to the development of new therapies for many pathologies.
"The pastoral and social activities of the Catholic community in Kazakhstan – Fr. Trezzani points out - have slowed down due to social distancing measures. We therefore decided to implement new methods of action in order not to stop and continue to operate so that this time of forced closure is not wasted. Shortly before the outbreak of the pandemic, as Caritas Kazakhstan we were working on the opening of a new day center for children with disabilities, in collaboration with the Municipality of Almaty. A few days ago, a representative of the health inspection services visited our Center to tell us everything that needs to be changed or improved: in this way, we will be ready to start as soon as the lockdown is over".
"In the meantime - continues Fr. Trezzani - our specialists are continuing to collect and process data on various aspects concerning children with Down syndrome, in order to be able to publish scientific materials on the subject, in Kazakh language. The period of closure also transformed the Caritas project in support of parents of children with Down syndrome, which has evolved in a 'digital' way: our educators correct the individual training programs of the children online, answer the parents’ questions and they provide advice on homework. This service is available for all areas of the country".
The news of the green light for the collaboration between the municipal administration of Almaty and Caritas had arrived at the beginning of 2020: the Municipality had undertaken to provide larger spaces than those currently in use, to transfer all the activities dedicated to people with trisomy 21. In this way, as Fr. Trezzani pointed out, we could aim at transforming what was initially a local project "into a real national center dedicated to Down syndrome, starting an activity of database to be made available to the whole country, to carry out scientific work and accompany the growth and development of young adults suffering from the syndrome, with the aim of re-inserting them into the social fabric and orienting them towards a job".
The enthusiasm for the partnership between a civil institution and a body linked to the Catholic Church has had to give way to anti-Covid measures: Kazakhstan, in fact, is currently struggling with its second lockdown due to the strong increase in positive cases, since the beginning of August. Fr. Trezzani concludes: "This new wave has not been easy to face. The coronavirus has touched us closely, it has taken some of our loved ones away. However, in God's providence, life goes on and each day poses other challenges. The loss of dear and well-known people makes us move and aim for new heights of solidarity and charity". (LF-PA) (Agenzia Fides, 2/9/2020)