First collaboration with the Red Cross Hospital


When a disease is particularly serious and disabling, it is not enough to “stitch up a wound, repair the esophagus or attempt to rebuild a normal functionality: one must keep following, over time, an extremely patient rehabilitative path[1]".

The Red Cross Hospital is a glaring example of this. It was one of the first hospitals to perform open heart surgeries, and it is vastly popular within the medical community thanks to its exemplary work in liver and kidney transplants. This world-renowned center, however, was missing the necessary infrastructures to deal with the long “rehabilitative path” which some patients face. Thanks in no small part to the endeavours of Doctors Leva and Torricelli, a specialized clinic was created within the hospital. This clinic offers assistance to newborns who are recovering from serious, potentially life threatening illnesses. It was created thanks to the intervention of the Region of Lombardy and CIELI AZZURRI ONLUS. The former was able to sign the agreement of cooperation between the Ca Granda Foundation and the Red Cross Hospital; the latter was part of the financial effort needed to complete the clinic.

Cooperation agreement

In June 2009, a Protocol of partnership and collaboration was signed between the Mangiagalli Clinic of the Ca' Granda Foundation and the Red Cross Children’s Hospital of Cape Town. The aim of such agreement is to offer, within the Red Cross’ structure, a clinical follow-up service. This kind of service is focused around offering a specific assistance to newborns who have been operated in their first days of life. While being a center of international excellence, the Red Cross Hospital does not have, at the moment, a sub-intensive neonatal therapy unit. This means that these very young patients, after the most acute phase of their pathologies is taken care of, are transferred in external, generic structures. These structures can’t, however, grant the frequency and the quality of those post-operative check-ups which are fundamental for many pathologies which are particularly diffused in South Africa. These include HIV and a lot of congenital malformations which cannot be detected during the pregnancy period, given the lack of a prenatal diagnosis practice. This project, which was supported by the Region of Lombardy and by Cieli Azzurri, has offered to the South African hospital all the experience and the knowledge of the doctors of the Mangiagalli Clinic. For them, this is a chance to operate in a highly technological center and to confront themselves with pathologies which are nowadays very hard to find in Europe and Italy.



[1] From "La missione di un chirurgo italiano", 11/10/2010,The Gazette of South Africa.


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