© Halimatou Amadou/MSF


Italy has long been a landing point for migrants and refugees.

We are supporting four hospitals in Italy as the country responds to a large outbreak of COVID-19. 

The current MSF team consists of about a dozen people, including Italian infectious disease specialists, anesthesiologists, nurses and logisticians, who are contributing their experience in managing epidemics in the countries where MSF works. 

The team is supporting infection prevention and control activities in these facilities, as well as doctors and nurses caring for patients who have been hospitalised with coronavirus and need treatment.

More on covid- 19 >


The Italian government has introduced tougher asylum and migration policies, making access to healthcare even more difficult for people in need.
Map with all MSF projects in 2019

New arrivals face many health challenges when reaching Italy, in both reception and detention centres.

Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) first worked in Italy in 1999.


MSF's work in Italy: 2019

Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) continued to address gaps in medical services for the most vulnerable people and challenge these restrictive policies in 2019.

From July to November, we ran a mobile clinic in Basilicata region in southern Italy to provide healthcare to migrants working as daily labourers in agriculture. Most of them live in crowded, unsanitary conditions in remote rural settlements, in makeshift camps or rural squats. In five months, MSF carried out more than 900 medical consultations and over 400 consultations for legal support via partners. 

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At the end of the year, we identified a group of local doctors to take over these activities. In November, we closed the rehabilitation centre for victims of torture that we opened in Rome in 2016. The project, run in collaboration with local partners Medici Contro la Tortura and ASGI, implemented a multidisciplinary approach. This comprised medical and psychological consultations, physiotherapy and social support for over 200 patients. Most of our patients were discharged in 2019, with the most critical (around 10) being referred to our partners or other organisations. 

Our teams continue to offer psychological first aid at disembarkation for people who have suffered traumatic events while crossing the Mediterranean. In 2019, MSF teams of psychologists and intercultural mediators assisted more than 38 people in two interventions in Lampedusa and Catania.

Throughout the year, in Palermo, Rome and Turin, we helped around 1,060 people to access national health services, in partnership with local health authorities

find out more in our international activity report >

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