It’s official: the Moldovan Ministry of Health has asked CUAMM to help with a type 1 emergency medical team in two refugee centers for Ukrainian refugees in Moldova. The first one is accommodating 220 people, mostly of Roma ethnicity, and the second center, a hundred refugees. An Italian doctor and a nurse from CUAMM will come to help, supported by two Moldovan nurses who speak Italian, Ukrainian and Russian to facilitate communication. At first, everything seems difficult. Where do we find medicine? Do we buy it on-site or import it? And what about the clinical team? How can we most quickly provide refugees with effective and quality service? These aren’t questions that have an immediate, clear answer. This is why I have spent a great deal of time meeting and talking to people, and, most of all, listening to them. I’m an impatient person. I want everything right away, but patience is something to be cultivated.
Listening is the first gateway to building a trusting collaboration with the ministry and our governmental counterparts. We have met with everyone: UNICEF, the WHO, SMU (a Spanish NGO responding to the crisis by providing health services), the vicar of Chisinau’s bishop, and hospital directors. And we also talked to the Salesians, Sister Esther, of the congregation of Mother Teresa who works with “the poorest of the poor” in Chisinau. We talked to Oleg, a taxi driver who worked for 20 years in Livorno. And we talked to Ludmila, the doctor for the Italian embassy in Moldova who studied and worked in Italy for years. Getting to know the country through its people and those who have chosen to live here is a key first step to laying the foundations for productive teamwork.
Giovanna De Meneghi, Ukrainian Response- Emergency Coordinator CUAMM