The story of a year of dedicated work in Africa and Italy, in data, graphics, maps, photos, and balance sheet certification that bear witness to real, tangible commitment to help; this is the goal of the 2020 Social Balance Sheet that Doctors with Africa CUAMM presented today at its head offices in Padua. In this year CUAMM workers have had to face increasingly hard challenges, including because of Covid-19.

CUAMM’S Annual Report has evolved into a “social balance sheet” to bolster accountability and commitment to our stakeholders, including institutional, private, external, and internal stakeholders. This new approach is joined by the digital transposition of significant data as an additional step toward direct, transparent communication that is easy to access.

Andrea Borgato, Vice Director, presented the balance sheet in detail, saying, “The social balance sheet is a natural evolution of our annual report, in keeping with the obligations set by the reform of the Third Sector. It is a tool to tangibly measure and give a transparent account of the work we do in Africa and Italy. We went through this hard year of the pandemic, and we never stopped, never suspended our work. The balance sheet speaks to important numbers, with growing resources and activities, for a total commitment of €46,390,908, of which only 7% is for operating and communication costs.”

“Among the most important numbers about our work in Africa,” said Fabio Manenti, Head of Projects, I would emphasize this one: 1,512,112 children under 5 years of age were checked, 212,095 births attended, 18,657 patients given antiretroviral therapy, 8,211 health workers trained, 5,413 malnourished children treated, and 7,521 emergency transports provided.All this was done while withstanding the pressure from Covid-19 and the impact of indirect effects on health systems in terms of the decrease in access to services, which in some hospitals has been as much as 20%.”

A direct report from the field was given by Giorgia Gelfi, the current country representativein Mozambique, who was also long our representative in South Sudan: “2020 started with a big celebration in South Sudan for the opening of Rumbek Pediatrics. Right after that Covid came to Africa too with lockdowns and airport closures. We never stopped our work to care for and support the population, and we have taken all measures needed to cope as well as we could with Covid-19 which added to the already intense instability and fragility here. The situation in Mozambique is also very difficult with the ongoing emergency of displaced persons in Cabo Delgado in the north of the country. There were 600,000 internally displaced persons in 2020 out of a population of 1.2 million. CUAMM organized a humanitarian response including continuing its support of maternal and child health and fighting chronic diseases while trying to combat several cholera outbreaks.”

Andrea Atzori, Head of International Relations, talked about the new fronts of activity: “For 2020, we had an already intense working plan that we had to adapt to meet the huge challenge of Covid. We did this by organizing our response based on four key points: protecting healthcare workers; keeping facilities open and making them safe; raising awareness among communities; and forging partnerships at an international level to send materials by airlift, totaling approximately 14,000 kg of protective equipment for the first emergency response. And at a time that was so difficult for Italy as well, we also put into effect an extraordinary project here including supporting 14 Italian health structures in 11 different regions; supporting vulnerable groups in Puglia and La Spezia; and training Italian health workers on emergency management. This was all possible because of the “IRC19 / Italian Response to Covid-19” project, supported by USAID, the Cooperation Agency of the American Government.”

“We believe that trust is based on transparency and has to be earned by being accountable about what we have done and how, reporting clearly and openly the results we have achieved, our successes as well as limitations and failures. We believe deeply that international cooperation can be a truly important instrument of change and this social balance sheet is evidence of that. Looking at 2020, we have seen that solidarity happens everywhere, near and far; solidarity is global like health, and solidarity generates solidarity in a virtuous circle,” concluded Don Dante Carraro, director of Doctors with Africa CUAMM.

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