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zika in brazil 07
Recife
By Flavio Forner
18 Jan 2016

Recife's Health Department workers and soldiers from the Brazilian military work together in detecting mosquito outbreaks.The municipality in Recife wants to introduce penalties for its citizens who don't follow the instructions on preventing the spread of the mosquito Aedes aegypti.

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zika in brazil 08
Recife
By Flavio Forner
18 Jan 2016

A Brazilian army soldier checking a house in Recife for Aedes aegypti mosquitoes. The municipality in Recife wants to introduce penalties for its citizens who don't follow the instructions on preventing the spread of the Aedes Aegypti. The city now gets the help of the Brazilian military in detecting mosquito outbreaks.

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zika in brazil 09
Recife
By Flavio Forner
18 Jan 2016

A Brazilian army soldier and Recife's Health Department worker talk to local resident to check for Aedes Aegypti mosquitoes. The municipality in Recife wants to introduce penalties for its citizens who don't follow the instructions on preventing the spread of the Aedes aegypti. The city now gets the help of the Brazilian military in detecting mosquito outbreaks.

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zika in brazil 10
Recife
By Flavio Forner
18 Jan 2016

A biologist works in a laboratory at Fiocruz Research Institute in Recife, Brazil. Across the country, scientists race against the clock to develop a vaccine for the Zika virus. Other scientists from Africa and the US flew to Brazil to help.

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zika in brazil 11
Recife
By Flavio Forner
18 Jan 2016

Biologist Constancia Ayres from Fiocruz Research Institute in Recife, Brazil. Across the country, scientists race against the clock to develop a vaccine for the Zika virus. Other scientists from Africa and the US flew to Brazil to help.

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zika in brazil 12
Recife
By Flavio Forner
18 Jan 2016

Biologist Constancia Ayres from Fiocruz Research Institute in Recife, Brazil, where she studies the evolution of the mosquito since Africa. Across the country, scientists race against the clock to develop a vaccine for the Zika virus. Other scientists from Africa and the US flew to Brazil to help.

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zika in brazil 13
Recife
By Flavio Forner
18 Jan 2016

The mosquito Aedes aegypti spreads four different types of Dengue and Chikungunya, and now the Zika virus.

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zika in brazil 14
Recife
By Flavio Forner
18 Jan 2016

Biologist Constancia Ayres from Fiocruz Research Institute in Recife, Brazil, where she studies the evolution of the mosquito since Africa. Across the country, scientists race against the clock to develop a vaccine for the Zika virus. Other scientists from Africa and the US flew to Brazil to help.

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zika in brazil 16
Recife
By Flavio Forner
18 Jan 2016

The mosquito Aedes aegypti spreads four different types of Dengue and Chikungunya, and now the Zika virus.

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zika in brazil 01
Recife
By Flavio Forner
17 Jan 2016

Dr. Angela Rocha, 67, infectologist at the Oswaldo Cruz hospital in Recife, Pernambuco (Brazil).

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zika in brazil 02
Recife
By Flavio Forner
17 Jan 2016

Mothers awaiting care in the waiting room at Oswaldo Cruz Hospital in Recife.

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zika in brazil 03
Recife
By Flavio Forner
17 Jan 2016

Nadja Gomes Bezerra, 42, a telemarketing operator with her 4 month-old daughter Alice, one of many Brazilians babies born in the recent months with microcephaly: a skull that is smaller at birth than 32 cm.

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zika in brazil 04
Recife
By Flavio Forner
17 Jan 2016

Erika Roque with her son Eric, born with microcephaly, at the Oswaldo Cruz Hospital in Recife, where he receives physical therapy.

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zika in brazil 05
Recife
By Flavio Forner
17 Jan 2016

Dr. Angela, infectious disease specialist at the Oswaldo Cruz Hospital in Recife, shows an image of the skull of a child with microcephaly.

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zika in brazil 06
Recife
By Flavio Forner
17 Jan 2016

Rafael, an official from Recife's Health Department at a meeting on actions to combat the Aedes aegypti mosquitoes, insect that spreads the Zika virus.

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Physiotherapy Clinic Heals Children a...
Latakia
By Hashem
15 Feb 2015

Latakia, Syria

February 15, 2015

AT THEIR REQUEST THE FACES OF THE DOCTORS AND THERAPISTS INTERVIEWED ARE NOT SHOWN FOR REASONS OF PERSONAL SAFETY AND SECURITY.

At the Flooka Physical Therapy Center in rural Latakia province, Syria, Dr. Khaled treats all manner of patients, from Free Syrian Army (FSA) fighters to children with disabilities. In his small clinic, which sees 25-30 patients a day, Dr. Khaled and his devoted staff use a combination of personal care and up-to-date technology (infrared, radiotherapy) to help residents from near and far recover from war-related injuries and other ailments. A largely Alawite region known for being the birthplace of the Assad family and a stronghold of the regime, parts of rural Latakia have nonetheless fallen under control of the rebels.

TRANSCRIPT

Dr. Mohamad Ajouz
(Man, Arabic) (01:40-02:54)

Our patient was injured by shrapnel two years ago, and came to the center for physical therapy about a year ago because of serious injury to his sciatic nerve. After a year of physical therapy, we did not get desirable results because his injury was too severe. Now, after consulting with an orthopaedic surgeon, he was advised to have surgery. Now we're getting him ready for surgery, preparing the muscles, so that when the surgery is done he can return and we can continue the physical therapy, and he will hopefully be healed.

Abu Mohamad, FSA fighter:
(Man, Arabic) (03:48-04:30)

I sprained my ankle and suffered from ligament rupture. I was not able to walk comfortably, so I came here to the physical therapy center and had many sessions, which are definitely helping. The center provides excellent care, and the workers are doing their best to help us. They spared us a trip to Turkey that we might have been forced to take, but the problem is that this is the only physical treatment center here and there is a lot of pressure, a huge number of people come here, and sometimes we have to wait until they finish treating other injuries before getting a turn.

Abu Hussein
(Man, Arabic) (07:13-07:33)

At an early point, we discovered something was wrong with her and took her to Turkey, Antakya and, from there, were transferred to Adana, where they ran some tests and told us that she suffers from brain malformation and needs physical treatment. So we brought her here to the "Floka al-Hurreya" physical therapy center to get treatment.

Dr. Khaled:
(Man, Arabic) (08:59-10:22)

We are now in the "Floka al-Hurreya" physical therapy center. The center has been open for a while and is operating smoothly. It receives about 25-30 patients a day. We have some machines and equipment to help treat patients injured in war; most people we treat have been injured in the war. We have machines to support the hips, infrared machines, a radiotherapy machine and machines to treat nerves; we have steps, a treadmill and many other machines.

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hearts of zimbabwe 17
Harare, Zimbabwe
By Giovanni Diffidenti
10 Jun 2014

Joe Machipisa, 17, and Perseverance Kambanje, 16 (with the blue cap) in Mutoko at the Luisa Guidotti Hospital, after a blood test.

The boys are drawing blood for follow up checks after both receiving treatment for their congenital heart conditions in Italy.

Follow ups are an ongoing, costly, but necessary process needed to help ensure the ultimate success of the surgeries.

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hearts of zimbabwe 19
Harare, Zimbabwe
By Giovanni Diffidenti
09 Jun 2014

Dr. Massimo Migani, Medical Superintendent and Dental Surgeon treats a patient with a dental problem at the Luisa Guidotti Mission Hospital in Mutoko. Zimbabwe.

Dr Massimo Migani helps with the coordination of the activities and relationships among stakeholders involved implementing the heart surgery exchange program with Italy.

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hearts of zimbabwe 18
Harare, Zimbabwe
By Giovanni Diffidenti
09 Jun 2014

Dr Massimo Migani, Medical Superintendent (left), Marilena Pesaresi, former Medical Superintendent now Hospital Executive Advisory Member (centre), and Lucia Grassi, catholic lay missionary, meet at the Luisa Guidotti Mission Hospital, in Mutoko. Zimbabwe.

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hearts of zimbabwe 01
Harare, Zimbabwe
By Giovanni Diffidenti
05 Jun 2014

Douglas Mudavanhu, 3, with his mother Yennifer in the village of Manyonga, in the Goromonzi District.

Douglas was operated on in 2013 at the Sant’Orsola-Malpighi Hospital in Bologna because of a complex congenital heart disease (Atrioventricular canal, interventricular defect and atrioventricular block). He now has a pacemaker and needs to do follow ups twice a year.

Douglas will need to return to Italy in the future so doctors can assess his current pacemaker and consider a possible substitute. The village where he lives is isolated, but there is hope for him to go to school in the future. Douglas' father, Edmore, has a farm and he makes sure his son eats fresh vegetables all year round and a sufficient amount of protein by raising chickens.

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hearts of zimbabwe 05
Harare, Zimbabwe
By Giovanni Diffidenti
05 Jun 2014

Tanatswa Oliver Chikomwe, 7, with his friend Fana in Mabyuko, in a suburb of Hahare.

Tanatswa was operated on in 2012 at the Sant’Orsola-Malpighi Hospital in Bologna (condition: severe aortic insufficiency and impaired left ventricular function. Aortic valve replacement).

While the operation was successful, he will probably have to undergo a second operation and will require follow-up appointments every two years.

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hearts of zimbabwe 06
Harare, Zimbabwe
By Giovanni Diffidenti
05 Jun 2014

Christopher Chirinda, 7, outside his house in the city of Ruwa.

Operated on in 2007 while he was only four months old, Christopher had a successful surgery that treated his congenital heart defect. The surgery was performed at the Sant’Orsola-Malpighi Hospital in Bologna. He will require follow up every three years.

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hearts of zimbabwe 08
Harare, Zimbabwe
By Giovanni Diffidenti
05 Jun 2014

Melody Mutero, 17 years old, in the village of Muchatuta, Goromonzi District.

Melody was operated in October 2013 at the Sant’Orsola-Malpighi Hospital in Bologna. 4 months in Italy.

Melody takes part in the I.N.R. program and has two check-ups per year. In the distant future she will have to change the replacement valve she was given in her initial surgery.

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hearts of zimbabwe 04
Harare, Zimbabwe
By Giovanni Diffidenti
04 Jun 2014

Tadiwa Kataza, 10, in his bedroom in Takudzwa, Chinhoyi city.

Tidiwa was operated on in 2011 at the Sant’Orsola-Malpighi Hospital in Bologna (where he stayed a total of seven months. Condition: congenital heart disease, Tetralogy of Fallot).

He underwent two other operations in 2012, one at the Ceccharini Hospital in Riccione, and the other at the Infermi Hospital in Rimini.

In total, Tadiwa lost a year of schooling to the operations. However, all of his major health problems were resolved successfully. Once a year, he returns to the Luisa Guidotti Hospital for follow-ups on his heart and eyes.

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hearts of zimbabwe 16
Harare, Zimbabwe
By Giovanni Diffidenti
04 Jun 2014

Dylon Mberemgwa, 4, with his collection of toys in the Murombedzi District.

Operated on in 2012 at the Hesperia Hospital in Modena, his surgery was sponsored by the Provincial Administration of Emilia Romagna (3 and a half months in Italy).

He lives partly in the neighborhood of the police station where his mother works, and partly in their house in the village. The family is very resourceful: they perform various farming tasks, raising different kinds of animals and cultivating various plants. Dylon lives with his brothers and parents.

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hearts of zimbabwe 13
Harare, Zimbabwe
By Giovanni Diffidenti
03 Jun 2014

Tariro Johan Kangoni, 4, in Harare.

Teriro was operated on in April 2011 at the Sant’Orsola-Malpighi Hospital in Bologna (3-4 months in Italy). He suffered from a congenital heart disease, known as patent Botallo ductus arteriosus.

He requires follow up every two years.

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hearts of zimbabwe 14
Harare, Zimbabwe
By Giovanni Diffidenti
03 Jun 2014

Salvador Bones, 7, in Harare, doing cartwheels with his brother Sinclair.

Salvador was operated on in 2011 at the Sant’Orsola-Malpighi Hospital in Bologna (Condition: Congenital cardiopathy, Tetralogy of Fallot).

Salvador's condition made him too weak to walk because he had such a low saturation of oxygen in his bloodstream. Both of his parents are unemployed and the family is supported by his grandmother. However, the surgery provided in Italy means that Salvador is now able to live an active and relatively normal life.

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hearts of zimbabwe 15
Harare, Zimbabwe
By Giovanni Diffidenti
03 Jun 2014

Tanaka Matengarufu, 9, in her room in Harare.

Operated on in 2012 at the Sant’Orsola-Malpighi Hospital in Bologna, Tanaka spent 6 months in Italy. She suffered from a complex circulatory illness that inflamed her arteries. She required Angioplasty among other specialized treatments.

Tanaka still has high blood pressure and requires specific ongoing medical therapy and in all probability, more invasive surgeries.

The family (with four children) survives only on the father's wage earned from selling phone charge cards (on average he sells 100 per day with a profit of 8 cents per sale).

Current medical therapy is only able to continue through external help. They share a house built in an illegal zone that is at risk of being demolished.

Tanaka's stay in Italy meant that her sister, 12 years old, missed a year of school looking after her little brother. Her sister had to take over the responsibility from her mother, who was accompanying Tanaka on her trip to Italy.

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hearts of zimbabwe 11
Harare, Zimbabwe
By Giovanni Diffidenti
02 Jun 2014

Bradley Matavire, 6, on a neighbor's swing in the city of Chitungwiza.

Operated on in 2011, at the Hesperia Hospital in Modena (Condition: interventricular defect), his surgery was sponsored by the Provincial Administration of Emilia Romagna.

An only child, Bradley lives with his father, his father's new wife, and his maternal grandmother. His father is the only breadwinner.

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hearts of zimbabwe 12
Harare, Zimbabwe
By Giovanni Diffidenti
02 Jun 2014

Ruth Mugambiza, 5, with her favorite teddy bear in the city of Chitungwiza.

Ruth was operated on in March 2010, at the Sant’Orsola-Malpighi Hospital in Bologna (3-4 months in Italy) due an interventricular defect (congenital heart disease). She requires follow-up every three years.

She has two older brothers and her father works selling handicrafts.

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hearts of zimbabwe 02
Harare, Zimbabwe
By Giovanni Diffidenti
01 Jun 2014

Diana Chiwara, 16, in front of the Mutoko All Souls Mission and school.

Diana was operated on in 2012 at the Niguarda Hospital in Milan. (Procedure: Substitution of the mitral valve with mechanical prosthesis)

Diana is taking part in the I.N.R. program (with monthly monitoring of her blood and medicine). As well as the I.N.R. program, she also has two check-ups per year. She comes from Harare, but she chose the school at All Souls because it is closer to the hospital.

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hearts of zimbabwe 03
Harare, Zimbabwe
By Giovanni Diffidenti
01 Jun 2014

Elvis Antonio Nashu, 17, in front of a former tobacco kiln at his village of Maramba, Murewa district.

Elvis was operated on in September 2005 at the Sant’Orsola-Malpighi Hospital in Bologna.

While the operation was successful, Elvis suffers from respiratory failure, which needs to be kept under control for at least four to five years. As an orphan, he lives with his grandmother and two maternal aunts. He lives in a very isolated village. He sleeps in a room also used as a granary.

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Heart of Africa: Saving Zimbabwe's Ch...
Harare, Zimbabwe
By Giovanni Diffidenti
31 May 2014

Elvis was the first to be operated. Born with heart disease, Elvis had scarce hopes for survival in his own country – Zimbabwe. In 2005, at only 8 years old, he made a trip to Italy with newfound hope. His destination was Sant’Orsola-Malpighi Hospital in Bologna.  A team of specialized surgeons was waiting for him at the pediatric cardiology unit. The operation was successful and Elvis was saved. After a few weeks rest in hospital, he returned to Zimbabwe.

Nine years later, in June 2014, photographer Giovanni Diffidenti left for Zimbabwe with the aim of meeting Elvis, now 17, and other children like him born with heart disease and saved/rescued by the intervention of a cardiology unit in Italy. To meet them, Diffidenti traveled deep in the Zimbabwean countryside, to impoverished villages lacking proper medical facilities. 

Despite the hard living conditions the children find themselves in, these images transmit a serenity that shows in their facial expressions and smiles. These children were once quite sick before their operation, without energy and destined to slowly die. They now live a normal childhood and adolescence full of energy and dreams of the future. Happy to have their photograph taken, revealing something personal of their character, tastes and sometimes their dreams. The children’s surgery was part of the “Save the Children’s Heart” program, which is an initiative by the Italian “Mission Bambini” Foundation (www.missionbambini.org). The program has rescued more than 1,000 children with heart disease from developing countries.

This objective was attained thanks to the work of voluntary Italian doctors organized abroad and equipment and machinery donated to local hospitals. In Zimbabwe, the Foundation collaborates with the “Luisa Guidotti” Hospital situated in Mutoko (200km east of the capital Harare), which is run by Italian doctor Maria Elena Pesaresi.

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hearts of zimbabwe 09
Harare, Zimbabwe
By Giovanni Diffidenti
31 May 2014

Evidence Katyio (left), 19, with her friend Marvelous Maremera, 14, in the village of Chapfika, Mutoko District.

Operated on in 2002 at the age of 7, at the Sant’Orsola-Malpighi Hospital in Bologna, Evidence had a valve replaced in her heart. She underwent a second operation in 2013 at the same hospital.

Evidence lives at her father's friend's place to go to school. Her village is 40 km away. Re-integration after her trip to Italy was problematic as she had gotten used to the material comforts of life in Italy.

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hearts of zimbabwe 10
Harare, Zimbabwe
By Giovanni Diffidenti
31 May 2014

Godfrey Nyumbu, 17, in the village of Kachara, Mudzi District.

Operated on in March 2013 at the Sant’Orsola-Malpighi Hospital of Bologna, Godfrey will need follow-ups every year.

Re-integration after the trip to Italy was problematic. He had difficulty readjusting after the material comforts of Italy. The last of eight children, he travels 1km daily to go to school.

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hearts of zimbabwe 07
Harare, Zimbabwe
By Giovanni Diffidenti
31 May 2014

Lucia Grassi, a catholic lay missionary from the diocese of Rimini, Italy, plays with a group of orphans at Luisa Guidotti Mission Hospital in Mutoko. Zimbabwe.

Lucia is the person who facilitates the beurocratic part of the project between Italian and Zimbabwean embassies. She arranges visas for Zimbabwean children and their families who travel to Italy for heart surgery.

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Prosthetic Limb Center for Syrians
Reyhanli, Turkey
By Transterra Editor
26 Nov 2013

A prosthetic limb center recently opened just outside Reyhanli, Turkey. The center helps those who have lost limbs in the fighting in Syria. The center manufactures high quality prosthetics on-site, assigns them to the wounded and helps with the rehabilitation process afterwards.

The clinic now produces limbs with a quality that can be compared to European standards, however, none of the staff at the center have a medical background. Some of the staff are previous patients, and have been trained by teams visiting from teams that also visit Pakistan, the UK and elsewhere in Turkey.

The clinic is already treating up to 10 patients a day, but there are thousands more in need. To reach them those in need, there are plans in progress to launch a mobile center that will work from inside Syria next year.

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The Antechamber of Life
Lebanon Arsal
By Transterra Editor
22 Oct 2013

Arsal, a Lebanese border city with Syria, is a haven for the more than 12,000 Syrians who fled the fighting of the region of Qalamoun recently. Inside a building under construction in the small city, which today hosts more Syrians than Lebanese, the Union of Syrian Organizations of Medical Aid (UOSSM) organizes a formation on war medicine for 32 Syrian doctors and nurses every month.

In October, most of the trainees were originated from Qusayr, Syria, where they had to treat patients in clandestine clinics, hidden from the eyes of the Syrian authorities. Some were imprisoned and others tortured because they were treating civilians in secret. When the city was taken by the Syrian regime in summer 2013, they had to flee to Arsal, where they built a hospital inside of a mosque. There, they began to cure the injured from Qusayr, before being overwhelmed by the injured from the region of Qalamoun, the new epicentre of the Syrian civil war.

Between the 28th of November and the 3rd of December, half of the doctors and nurses who attended the formation were coming from Qalamoun. Some had lost their parents, other their children. But all were determined to learn the vital techniques to cure in the conditions of violence and shortage. Once trained and back in Syria, they will reproduce what they learned and train the rare doctors and nurses who still treat civilians among the ruins of Syria.

In the midst of a war where humanitarian right is seldom respected and where doctors are considered as targets by the Syrian regime, Raphaël Pitti, a former French war doctor and founder of the UOSSM, decided to organize formations of war medicine in Turkey, Syria and Lebanon, to teach to local doctors how to save lives in conditions of war. Today, 300 doctors and 350 nurses have been trained by the UOSSM. In the rebel areas of Syria, where international NGOs have no access, they remain the only people who can still save lives... at the risk of their own.

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Chapulling Generation, Occupy Gezi Park
Istanbul, Turkey
By Mais Istanbuli
11 Jun 2013

Musicians, artists, doctors, nurses, students, activists, environmentalists have joined the rallies against the Turkish government that they believe threatens their freedom and way of life. The Park (Gezi) became a symbol of civil resistence, a laboratory for a new culture of resistance.