Organization that is implementing
ASL Roma 1 – Healthcare system
The SAMIFO Center – Health center for asylum seekers and refugees was born in 2006 in partnership between Centro astalli Association (Jesuit refugees services) and a public hospital (Azienda ospedaliera Roma A).
The Center’s aims are:
• promoting and facilitate the fruition to public health care;
• informing patients about their rights and about the related information sources.
• educating healthcare professionals about migration medicine topics.
• ensuring cultural-linguistic mediation to overcome the barrier of language and intercultural communication.
• promoting systemic approach to multidimensional trauma.
The main objective is the take on responsibility of asylum seekers and refugees, for a period not larger than 24 months.
The approach is focused on: 1. the creation of inter-disciplinary pathways of care and individual support appropriate at physical, social and psychic pain of forced migrants; 2. the integration between basic medical assistance and specialized assistance.
The Center’s staff adopt, in all the interventions, a multidimensional, inter-disciplinary and intercultural approach.
The Center is opened from monday to friday, the access is free, and is structured in the following activities: reception office, healthcare orientation office, counseling area, intercultural mediation service, day hospital ‘general medicine’, day hospital ‘trans-cultural psichiatry’, psychological service, legal medicine service, day hospital of ‘gynaecology and obstetrics’, day hospital of orthopedics, vaccinations.
The Sa.mi.fo. center is a unique service, in that a linguistic-cultural mediation service consisting of about 10 mediators, (Languages spoken: Farsi, English, French, Spanish, Arabic, Ukrainian, etc.) has been created within a public hospital.
The center is open 5 days out of 7 and caters to forced migrants.
In 2015, SAMIFO obtained the important recognition of the Lazio region as a Regional Health Facility of the ASL Roma 1 for the care of forced migrants as well as a point of reference for the bodies working for their protection as it uses an organizational model that, through integrated care pathways, manages to meet complex health needs that require health services and social protection actions at the same time.
Sa.Mi.Fo is an example of health care where the integration of clinical experiences and best scientific evidence has enabled the development of an innovative and sustainable public health model based on participatory analysis of health needs.
How was the Project born?
The Health Center for Forced Migrants SaMiFo was established in 2006 as a collaboration between ASL Roma 1 and the Centro Astalli Association with the aim of protecting the health of asylum seekers and holders of international and national protection.
Of obviously, the Sa.mi.fo. model could be replicated, but in this case, the involvement and awareness of health leaders is necessary. The Sa.mi.fo. center is partly financed by the Ministry of Health, but in order to cover all expenses and in order to guarantee this service to as many beneficiaries as possible, a constant search for funding is required, an activity that is ensured by the Astalli Center’s planning office.
Elements that facilitated the implementation
The service was easily implemented due to two factors:
– proposal for creation of the center received from a psychiatrist, an internal employee of ASL Rome 1, with extensive experience in immigration
– numerous psychologists and doctors employed by ASL RM 1 have created an observatory on migration medicine, thus many employees sensitive to the issue of forced migration
Challenges in the implementation
1. Sometimes lack of funding
Impact on refugees or local community lives?
In 2021, more than 2.000 people were taken in by Sa.mi.fo the people who came to the center were mainly from: Nigeria, Senegal, Eritreia, Afghanistan. In one year, about 7,000 specialist visits were carried out.
Unfortunately, there is no system for evaluating the impact of the activities promoted by the center.
Is this project/program replicable and/or scalable?
Makes a concrete contribution to the implementation of the Global Compact for Safe, Orderly and Regular Migration (first international agreement worldwide, 12/2018).
Promotes a culture of welcome and solidarity starting with the protection of the right to health (Agenda 2030 item 3).
It employs physicians with experience in the management of migrant patients and linguistic-cultural mediators and social workers who, in addition to facilitate the doctor-patient relationship, offer support to people often experiencing loneliness and discrimination.