Children Without Borders is a project through which we offer assistance to families who face harsh social conditions and whose babies are in need of specific pediatric care. We strive to offer both logistic and financial assistance.
This project started in 2007, with the objective of helping Italian and foreign families whose infants are in need of particular pediatric care, which cannot be obtained in the areas where they reside. The national health care service (SSN) takes care of the medical and surgical operations of Italian children; on the other hand, the regional health care department for Lombardy, through specific resolutions, covers the medical and surgical assistance needed by foreign babies. Given that these families often face financial hardships, it is generally impossible for them to afford the expenses involved in travelling to Milan. CIELI AZZURRI ONLUS believes that, in such a troubling time, families should be united; for this reason, it takes care of these problems, allowing families to focus solely on the health of their baby.
As its title suggests, this project has gotten us in touch with families from all over the world. Here are some examples:
Three families from various Italian regions were assisted in the Fetal Medicine clinic “Vittore Buzzi”; all were dealing with the pregnancy of monochorionic twins.
Two baby girls, from Uganda and Ecuador, were assisted in dealing with dangerous malformations.
A Moroccan family was brought to Milan as part of an effort to deal with a rare genetic defect.
This project also aims to encourage and facilitate the exchange of medical personnel between world-leading pediatric structures, with the ultimate goal of enhancing general knowledge, while developing new, cutting-edge techniques.
Probably the most significant of these collaborations is the partnership signed between the “Fondazione IRCCS Ca’ Granda Ospedale Maggiore Policlinico di Milano” and the “Red Cross Children’s Hospital” of Cape Town. This partnership started in June 2009, and it aims to offer a “clinical follow-up” service in the Red Cross Hospital. This kind of service consists in assisting infants who were operated during their first days of life, basing the assistance offered on the individual needs that arise after each separate operation. The Red Cross Hospital is an excellent pediatric center, but unfortunately it does not have at its disposal a sub-intensive infant therapy unit; for this reason, after the most critical phase of their illness has been treated, the young patients are transferred in general external facilities which are not equipped to deal with the kind of specific and individual attention that these cases require. The fact that South Africa deals quite regularly with serious diseases such as HIV or genetic malformations, which are impossible to detect during the pregnancy period, makes this problem all the more delicate. With the help of the Region of Lombardy, Cieli Azzurri offers to the Red Cross Hospital the services of the vastly experienced and knowledgeable doctors of the Mangiagalli Clinic, for whom this kind of experience is an opportunity to confront themselves with diseases which are becoming, nowadays, more and more rare in Italy and Europe.