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On the 24th of May 2007 the non-profit Voluntary Association Medici in Africa (‘Doctors in Africa’) was established in Genoa.
The association was founded by several doctors who have, through years, developed skills and experience on location as health volunteers in different African, Southamerican and Asian countries.

The goals of charter which the Association undertakes can be summarized as follows:
1. Support Italian doctors' and health personnel's voluntary service, adherent to the Association,
* sharing the experiences gained
* putting in touch the doctors with the organizations that are working in the developing countries
* coordinating the activities of those here mentioned, their specific competences taken into consideration, in order to optimize the results
* implementing a digital database for voluntary doctors and organizations working in the developing countries, stating the characteristics and the availability of both parts.

This is considered a fundamental aim: for the doctors because it allows them to have a permanent point of reference as for where to place their help, as well as for the Association, because it brings the possibility to monitor the distribution of the Italian doctors who, still more numerous, want to offer their professionality in favour of the these populations.

Other goals of charter of the Association:
2. Implement special basic training courses in order to adapt the healthcare professionality to the needs and the characteristics of the African developing countries.
3. Implement, on location, specific training courses for the local personnel, given such that subsequent local operative authonomy is possible.
4. Relate to national structure and culture to secure the correct use of the help supplied to the African healthcare facilities or to specific projects of the Association.
5. Inform the citizens through frequent journalistic reports and through television transmissions about The Association’s activities and about the factual socio-sanitary situations in the countries in which we operate, showing the progression of the practice of any help supplied.

The developing countries, in which we are working at the moment, or in which we have already concluded voluntary projects, are:
° Madagascar, Kenya, Ghana, Cape Verde Islands, Mali, Togo, Cameroon, Burkina Faso, Burundi, Mozambique, Eritrea and Somalia, as regards Africa
° Tibet, as for Asia,
° Guatemala, as for Central America


In these recent years we have been witnessing a still growing interest from doctors, nurses, technical personnel etc in health care problems within the developing countries. They are getting still more numerous, those who want to bring a professional and human contribute to all those populations who, for various reasons, are living in conditions of poverty, hunger and disease.
It is surely obvious that by this increasing interest for participation there will occur also an increasing demand for information and education.
The Dipartimento di Discipline Chirurgiche, Morfologiche e Metodologie Integrate at The University of Genoa (Di.CMI; dir. Prof. Edoardo Berti Riboli) has for some years now recognized the need, and has implemented numerous refresher training courses for doctors who want to carry out voluntary health care. The following two courses are implemented every year: The basic course ’Doctors in Africa’, now in its fifteenth edition, and the advanced course on ’Health-care, economical, social and environmental cooperation with the developing countries’.
This course (the first and only in Italy) has experienced an interaction of numerous faculties of the University of Genoa: Economics, Litterature, Environment, Engineering, Farmacy and Medicine, thus offering a multidisciplinary, genuine grounding to the future voluntary collegues. This will permit the participants to deal with various problems in the developing countries where they are working (problems of e.g. social, economic, medical, environmental character), bringing an adequate knowledge and understanding.
This intense educational activity has lead to the assembly of a teaching staff of about 30 persons, gathered round the Di.CMI , experts who, for long periods, have been carrying out their health care activities in these countries (Africa, Asia, South America). This again has allowed to transfer to the participants of the training courses not only the elements of theory, but also that teaching knowledge which derives from ’experiences acquired by working in the field’.

Thanks to this sensitivity towards the emerging countries the DiCMi has already for a long time been
engaged in health care cooperation. For three years now The Department has been able to guarantee a permanent turnover as to surgeons on the Hospital San Francesco di Assisi in Fogo - The republic of Cape Verde.
This has made possible to supply without interruption surgical assistance to a population of 40.000 people, who otherwise would have been without any coverage at all.
This spontaneous enterprise has recently led to an agreement of understanding between The Region of Liguria and The Municipality of Sao Felipe (Ila de Fogo – Cape Verde) which supports the mission of sanitary staff from The Region, and makes official the masterdegrees which the Department intends to organize especially for the Capverdian staff within various fields of surgery or similar areas.

As a result of these educational charity activities many doctors with experience from voluntary work have spontaneously joined the Department. All this has incited The Group of Doctors in Africa (‘Medici in Africa’) to constitute in Genoa “Association Doctors in Africa” (still waiting to be ackowledged Onlus in every respect).


Constituting The Association the promoting doctors have considered it essential that amongst the founders should be also
- The University of Genoa, in order to institutionalize the cooperation and the commitment with which The University has always supported Doctors in Africa, and thanks to whose facilities and to the expertise of its large teaching staff it has been possible unto this day to realize the training corses.
- The Doctors’ Association, an essential element as to the communication of the informations from this area.
- The Journalists’ Association, a natural source of information as to the public opinion on Doctors in Africa as well as on the work of the various voluntary doctors, - an Association which thus becomes almost ‘correspondents’, both for the print media as well as for television.

The founding partners are:
* Professor Edoardo Berti Riboli - Director of The Dipartimento di Discipline Chirurgiche, Morfologiche e Metodologie Integrate (Di.CMI) at The University of Genoa, President of the Association
* Doctor Sergio Adiamoli, voluntary doctor, responsible for contacts to voluntary associations and ONG
* Doctor Marco Beatini, Dipartimento di Scienze Chirurgiche Specialistiche e Anestesiologia e Trapianti d'Organo (DISCAT) at The University of Genoa, responsible for the educational section
* Signora Maria Luisa Boggio, administrative secretary at DiCMI, on behalf of The University of Genoa, who has accepted the assignment as a treasurer.
* Doctor Franca Brignola, journalist, on behalf of The Journalists’ Association
* Doctor Domenico Dato, The Hospital of Gallino in Genoa, on behalf of The Doctors’ Association and of the dentists in the Province of Genoa.
* Professor Luigi De Salvo, Dipartimento di Dipartimento di Discipline Chirurgiche, Morfologiche e Metodologie Integrate (DiCMI) at The University of Genoa, responsible for the educational section.
* Professor Alberto Hesse, Dipartimento di Neuroscienze, Oftalmologia e Genetica (DINOG) at The University of Genoa, responsible for contacts to the associations of charity
* Professor Antonio Terrizzi, Dipartimento di Discipline Chirurgiche, Morfologiche e Metodologie Integrate (Di.CMI) at The University of Genoa, General Secretary
* Doctor Giorgio Armato, voluntary doctor