Since 1950 Doctors with Africa CUAMM has been committed to promoting and protecting the health of African populations. In this album of memories we wanted to collect some of the most significant moments of these 70 years of history to share together the journey made thanks to the stories, the lives, the steps of the many who, over time, have chosen to walk “with” Africa.


December 1950

CUAMM was born in Padua

3 December 1950 

CUAMM was born in Padua: University College Aspiring Medical Missionaries, open to Italian and foreign medical students

March 1954

First doctor sent

31 March 1954

Dr. Angelo Tasso, the first doctor sent by CUAMM to developing countries, leaves for India

January 1955

Departure for Kenya of Dr. Anacleto Dal Lago

05 May 1955

Departure for Kenya of Dr. Anacleto Dal Lago with his wife Bruna Maran, he is the first CUAMM doctor sent to Africa.

August 1955

Don Luigi Mazzucato becomes Director of CUAMM

30 August 1955

Don Luigi Mazzucato is designated by the Bishop of Padua, Girolamo Bortignon, as Director of CUAMM

January 1957

Anacleto Dal Lago starts Nkubu Training School

01 January 1957

Anacleto Dal Lago starts the Nkubu Training School in Kenya, the first nursing school in the country, for local staff.

August 1958

Doctor Lido Rossi dies of nephritis at the age of 30

16 August 1958

CUAMM doctor in Swaziland, now eSwatini

December 1958
October 1959

Pope Giovanni XXIII delivers the crucifix

11 October 1959

In St. Peter, Pope Giovanni XXIII gives the crucifix to the departing missionaries, including 7 doctors from CUAMM: a solemn acknowledgment to the lay missionary

November 1961

Medical officer Francesco Remotti dies

11 November 1961

Kindu massacre, in the former Belgian Congo. Among the 13 victims, members of a UN blue helmets mission, was also the medical officer Francesco Remotti, 29, of CUAMM

October 1965

Pope Paolo VI receives CUAMM in audience

14 October 1965

Some passages from the pontiff’s speech:

“We are proud of you, we are moved by your youthful daring, nourished by the spirit of sacrifice”.

«You are a promise of spring; you are a certainty of future achievements; you are a sign, a presence, a testimony of the vitality of our Mother Church ”

“You are the happy confirmation of the hope that the Church has placed and places in its faithful and the living response to its delivery”

July 1967

Start of the Faculty of Medicine in Nairobi

Launch of the Faculty of Medicine of the University of Nairobi, among the supporters Anacleto Dal Lago with the support from Italy of Don Luigi Mazzucato and Professor Francesco Canova capable of involving the University of Padua and the Italian Ministry of Foreign Affairs in collaboration with government of Kenya

February 1968

Nyeri conference

10-11 February 1968

CUAMM doctors operating in Kenya and Uganda meet to propose changes to the CUAMM organization, greater integration of missionary hospitals with public structures and with the health plans of local governments. Greater attention is also proposed in guaranteeing access to health services for the weakest sections of the population, mothers and children above all.

December 1971

First Italian law on Cooperation

15 December 1971

Promulgated the law 1222/1971 it is the first Italian law on technical cooperation with developing countries. CUAMM contributes to its drafting in particular as regards the chapter on civil volunteering.

June 1972

CUAMM becomes the first Italian NGO in health cooperation

22 June 1972

The Minister of Foreign Affairs, Honorable Aldo Moro, recognizes CUAMM as a suitable body for cooperation tasks with developing countries by a specific decree. CUAMM thus becomes the first Italian NGO for health cooperation and begins to present its intervention projects to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

January 1975

CUAMM at the forefront of Primary Health Care

Anacleto Dal Lago presents a document on CUAMM’s intervention criteria in developing countries. The document anticipates what will be recommended later by WHO at the 1978 Alma Ata conference on the importance of Primary Health Care.

January 1977

First programs in Tanzania, Mozambique and Uganda

1977 – 1978 – 1979

The first government-inspired country programs are launched in Tanzania (1977), Mozambique (1978) and Uganda (1979) on the basis of bilateral agreements between Italy and the governments of the respective African countries.

March 1979

War between Tanzania and Uganda

March – May 1979

CUAMM doctors present in hospitals in Northern Uganda decide to stay despite the situation being particularly tense: they remain isolated for weeks. A mission is organized to reach them by Prof. Dal Lago with officials of the Italian Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

September 1983

Special Audience of Pope Giovanni Paolo II for CUAMM

26 September 1983

460 people were present including students, returning volunteers and family members.

March 1985

Conference on sexually transmitted diseases in Tanzania

7 – 8 March 1985

Conference on sexually transmitted diseases in Tosamaganga. A report by the CUAMM team doctors at the Bukoba hospital identifies the first cases of AIDS in the country and probably in Africa.