Because of the COVID-19 pandemic, since the end of February 2020 it was necessary to reorganize ourselves, to reshape priorities and modus operandi. Evidently, it is in the DNA of this citizens' organization - which for over 40 years has been working to protect health as a common good - the ability to quickly read the needs of people in situations of fragility and to reinterpret their needs in concrete requests and initiatives of civic activism, as better described in the next paragraphs. As Italy was under attack of Covid-19, all the following concrete COVID-19 related initiatives – until the end of April self-financed by Cittadinanzattiva – have been carried out at the national level.
- Advocacy activity for chronic patients & therapeutic plans
- An initiative that supports the strengthening of the local dimension of continuity healthcare and the availability that Cittadinanzattiva has received from Federfarma (the national federation representing over 16,000 private pharmacies in Italy) to deliver home medical devices, in addition to medicines. Federfarma and Cittadinanzattiva together asked the Regions to simplify as much as possible the procedures with which the chronically and rare patients can obtain directly in the pharmacy the medicines and the medical devices usually distributed in public structures. This measure is in line with the indication to limit the displacements and is necessary to avoid exposing many patients to infection.
- Through the National Coalition of Associations for Patients suffering Chronic Diseases (CnAMC), with a letter sent to the Presidents of the Regions, to the Regional Councilors for Health and to the Ministry of Health, we asked for an extension of at least 90 days for the supply of medical goods throughout the national territory indispensable for chronic patients, whose demand expires in the months of March and April. We are talking about people who use medical goods such as bags, plates, diapers, catheters, strips for measuring blood glucose, bags for special nutrition, protein-free foods, the periodic and extraordinary control of devices implanted for patients with heart failure, the devices for outpatient hemodialysis, for peritoneal dialysis and home hemodialysis and immunosuppressive drugs with direct and on-account distribution for organ transplant recipients, trachea-aspiration tubes, matte as well as all devices for mechanical ventilation and enteral nutrition. On April 30, after the transitional rule expired, many fragile workers had to return to work with all the risks involved. For this reason, Cittadinanzattiva, through the National Coalition of Associations for Patients suffering Chronic Diseases (CnAMC), obtaining the availability of GPs, called for the possibility of family doctors to attest the right for the most fragile workers (immunosuppressed citizens, affected by an oncological pathology or subjected to life-saving treatments,) and for the ones with disabilities to abstain from work, in order to make them avoid exposure to the infection. Read more (1,2) (IT).
- In recent days, together with the Italian Scientific Society of Internal Medicine (FADOI), we turned to the Italian Medicines Agency (AIFA) to extend the therapeutic plans, a request that the Agency accepted after a few hours.
- A similar request has been sent to the Regions and to the Ministry of Health to ensure continuity in the use of the indispensable devices throughout the national territory, including through remote monitoring of clinical data, limiting the exposure of patients and healthcare professionals to the risk of infection and without distracting health workers from their emergency activities. The Sardinia Region has already responded to our request for information.
- Advocacy activity for cancer & COVID-19 patients
- Together with representatives of medical-scientific communities such as Periplo - which represents the Italian cancer networks - and the Foundation for personalized medicine, Cittadinanzattiva has sent to the National and Regional Health Italian Authorities, a request in order to adopt new measures to guarantee the continuity of treatment for cancer patients outside hospitals, in a safer context, able also to decongest the hospitals. Here you can find the official request and an article (both in IT language).
- Federfarma and Cittadinanzattiva proposed to distribute antivirals and antimalarials for coronavirus sufferers also in pharmacies, highlighting how the distribution of these medicines through pharmacies will not only reduce displacements, but will also allow the pharmacist to monitor patient adherence to therapy and to acquire useful information on the correct use of the medicine on compliance with the therapeutic plan. Read more (IT)
- Advocacy activity & solidarity for vulnerable target groups
- People living in the Assisted Healthcare Residences: To control contagion in Assisted Health Residences (RSA), urgent regional extraordinary plans must be adopted as soon as possible. Cittadinanzattiva's letter of appeal to the Regions. Read more (IT)
- Prison population: Protect the health of mothers and children in prison. A priority that affects all prisoners with the COVID-19 emergency. Cittadinanzattiva's letter of appeal to the Minister of Justice. Read more (IT)
- People living alone: Cittadinanzattiva also joined the initiative "The time of kindness" promoted by the Italian Red Cross to carry out a home-based grocery shopping and medicine services for the elderly, fragile and immunosuppressed people who live alone. Read more (IT)
- 0-6 years old: Cittadinanzattiva decided to dedicate a special section of the “XIV Scafidi Prize” to "The 0-6 at the time of COVID 19" to collect the good practices made with young children, make them known, disseminate and reward the most significant ones. Read more (IT)
- "Reconnected" Campaign against the digital divide of internal areas
So that nobody is left behind! We must be ready, we must be reconnected! This is the spirit with which Cittadinanzattiva, in partnership with the Federation of Internal Areas (Federazione Aree Interne in Italian), launches "Reconnected", a campaign designed to provide data subscriptions, satellite web connections and electronic devices to students and families of the internal areas of our country who are in particular difficulty, in order to overcome the obstacles represented by the digital divide that characterizes these territories. With lives on FB and Instagram, fundraising is supported on the gofund.me platform to provide devices to schools and, through them, to families in the internal areas.
- For the protection of the Third Sector
The Third Sector raises the alarm: in Italy 81% of non-profit organizations in the first quarter of 2020 suffered a significant impact on fundraising with 40% reporting a drop of over 50% and 11.5% a drastic 100% drop in donations. A pro bono communication campaign (#DONOTFORGETABOUTTHEM #NONTISCORDARDILORO), created by over 45 associations and non-profit organizations of the third sector (including Cittadinanzattiva), was born from this issue to remind Italians that, especially in this emergency period, their help is needed to support the most fragile ones. The idea was born from the collaboration between the K-Comunicazionisociali agency and the Vita magazine which have created, without burdening the associations, a multimedia campaign whose claim is: "Protect your solidarity. Continue to support those who protect the most fragile". Read more (IT).
- Support to the general practitioner
- Fund raising campaign for general practitioners’ safety: titled “Help us protect your family doctor”, it was launched last the 16th of March 2020 by Cittadinanzattiva and the Italian Federation of General Practitioners-FIMMG (Federazione Italiana Medici di Medicina Generale): with only 1 Euro you can help us purchase personal protective equipment to be distributed to all the family doctors working in Italy. We need you! For donation, click here. Private entities have decided to support the campaign by donating economic or instrumental resources for a value of three million euro to the use of the entire National Health System. Read more (IT). On April 15, 2020, one month before its launch, the campaign raised € 1,179,275.44, which allowed organizations to make purchases of the most urgent Personal Protective Equipment such as Ffp2 Masks, full plexiglass visors, waterproof lab coats in polypropylene and latex gloves, and start distributing them to general practitioners. To this value it must then be added that of all the products and goods donated. All goods purchased and donated will be promptly reported. The organizations thank all individual and corporate donors for the important milestone achieved. Read more (IT)
- Awareness campaign aimed to prevent/reduce infection among HCPs: titled "#KeepCalm, Together, without fear", it sees Cittadinanzattiva alongside the Italian Federation of General Practitioners (Fimmg). “Together without fear. Coronavirus is a weak enemy if we fight it together. Family doctors and citizens": this is the message to inform citizens about the right prevention behaviors to follow, and to promote common sense and make it "viral". #insiemesenzapaura. To know more, watch the video and click here (IT). It has just started from Northern Italy the distribution of disinfectant gel, information material and the first PPE-personal protective equipment, found with many difficulties thanks to the support of Roche who, in such a difficult and ever-changing situation, was the first company to comply with our request for support to family doctors. Read more (IT)
In a short time, this campaign has been supported and endorsed by many private and public actors. Here you can find the example of the City of Naples that has adopted the campaign. To know more, click here (IT).
- Citizens empowerment
- Addressing general public, users and consumers: our website hosts a guide with specific insights on health, transport, taxes, school; links to official websites; short videos from experts; the contact details of our protection centers to avoid scams, fake news and speculation; and even a chatbot. For this activity, since May, Cittadinanzattiva has had an unconditional support.
- Addressing foreign communities living in Italy: together with Assogenerici and the Equivalente.it portal, Cittadinanzattiva has launched the social campaign "Why no one remains excluded", with the aim of providing all foreign communities present in Italy mother tongue information on how to avoid dangerous behavior and therefore contribute to stop the spread of the infection. The campaign unfolds thanks to a video in 11 languages, apart from Italian: English, French, Spanish, Portuguese (Brazilian), Romanian, Arabic, Russian, Filipino, Punjabi (India and Pakistan), Hindi (India), Bengali.
- Civic monitoring
- The impact of Covid-19 on the immunization plan across Italy
A jagged situation, where even within the same regional territory, very different decisions can be found regarding prevention policies. Both for the possibility of accessing vaccines and also for screenings. This is the picture that emerges from the civic survey conducted in Italy by Cittadinanzattiva in the occasion of the annual European Immunization Week (20 – 26 April 2020). Very difficult even to find information, with telephone numbers to which no one answers to and the lack of a single information point, at least for different Regions. Read more and watch the video by FIMP, the Italian Federation of Pediatricians. (IT). In addition, the Italian Federation of Pediatricians has drawn up a Vademecum on the management of the child at the time of COVID-19, whilst requesting a greater use of telemedicine to combat the epidemic, and above all the authorization to make tampons and vaccines to children. To find out more, click here (1,2, etc.) (IT)
- Price and availability of masks in Italy
Three out of four pharmacies in Milan do not have surgical masks. In Turin one out of two, but 25% sells them at three times the fixed price (50 cents each plus VAT, as established by the emergency commissioner). In Rome, this game is done by more than 28%, while 57% of the retailers do not have it. This percentage rises to 62% in Naples, with a quarter of the pharmacies surveyed selling them for 2 or 3 euros each. This is what the survey conducted by Cittadinanzattiva for the newspaper La Stampa reveals. Even disposable gloves are no longer so easy to find. And when you find them, it turns out that the price of a box of 100 pieces has gone from 5 euros to over 10 euros. Read the article. (IT)
- Students: civic survey
Cittadinanzattiva has launched a civic survey on Remote Learning at the time of Covid-19. Click here
- Civic survey on the needs and difficulties of the citizens
WHY A SURVEY? To listen and record the needs and difficulties experienced by citizens due to the restrictions that this emergency imposes, and to intercept any problems and phenomena that have not yet emerged, on which there is not enough attention in the public debate. Thus, the objective is not to give answers to individual people, but to understand the needs of the community.
WHAT DO WE INTEND TO DO WITH THE INFORMATION COLLECTED? Identify and implement further specific actions according to the issues raised/detected, in the wake of our strands of commitment already in place: integrate more information in our Coronavirus Guide, promote initiatives with other third sector organizations and collaborations with professional associations, continue the dialogue with the institutions. To fill in the anonymous questionnaire visit this link.
- Political proposals
- #COVID19 & its impact on the vaccination plan across Italy
A jagged situation, where even within the same regional territory, very different decisions can be found regarding prevention policies. Both for the possibility of accessing vaccines and also for screenings. This is the picture that emerges from the civic survey conducted in Italy by Cittadinanzattiva in the occasion of the annual European Immunization Week (20 – 26 April 2020). Very difficult even to find information, with telephone numbers to which no one answers to and the lack of a single information point, at least for different Regions. Read more and watch the video by the Italian Federation of Pediatricians. (IT)
The Italian Federation of General Practitioners-FIMMG (Italian Federation of General Practitioners) and Cittadinanzattiva have written to the Government and Regions for setting up a flu and pneumococcal vaccination campaign that starts early, in October, and that provides for the lowering of the free administration to 55 years. Indications involving the need for additional supplies of flu shots. Read more (IT)
- #COVID19 & the concrete proposal to improve the integrated home care: Cittadinanzattiva puts forward a proposal to amend the draft conversion law of the so-called "Cura Italia" to strengthen socio-health and home care for the chronically and rarely ill, immunosuppressed, acute non-hospitalized and disabled people who are not self-sufficient through the financing of extraordinary three-year plans by the Regions. The amendment was presented to the Senate on the proposal of Cittadinanzattiva and over 70 associations and aims to reduce the tax benefit for heated tobacco cigarettes: 1.2 billion euros would be obtained in 3 years to be used for integrated home care. Watch the video of Cittadinanzattiva’s Secretary General and read the incredible decision taken inside the Italian Parliament (IT).
- #COVID19 & Open letter to EU leaders: We need more EU leadership and resources to overcome the effects of the Covid-19 crisis. Active Citizenship Network endorsed the letter sent by European Movement to the leaders of the EU Institutions. Read more
- #COVID19 & the fight against speculation: The coronavirus emergency has made protective masks more and more important and frequently unavailable or available at particularly high prices, with cases of real speculation. Hence the appeal of Cittadinanzattiva to the Governors to regulate the price of the masks. Read more (IT)
- #COVID19 & its impact on democracy: The compression of many of the personal freedoms guaranteed by the Constitution occurs precisely when the Parliament - the guarantor of the rights of each of us - is unable to meet and fully perform its functions. The reopening of the Parliament is not just a return to "normal democratic life", but a message to the whole nation. The appeal to the institutions promoted by Italian civil society, to which Cittadinanzattiva has joined. Read more (IT)
- #COVID19 & its impact on schools: Two concrete proposals and ad hoc measures for schools in the internal areas come from Cittadinanzattiva. Read more (IT)
- Initiatives on the territory
- Cittadinanzattiva Lazio on RSA: lack of controls, we demand clarity
On the issue of the Covid-19 emergency in residential care homes, the complaint of Cittadinanzattiva Lazio in the face of the continuous rebound of responsibility between the various subjects, a rebound which leaves citizens, operators and relatives of the people hospitalized in these structures shocked. We demand transparency of procedures, clarity in responsibilities and sanctions for those who, public or private, are wrong. Read the articles (1,2) (IT).
- To restart
- Beyond the emergency: cycles of webinars
A reflection about the future starting from the current situation. A cycle of 10 free webinars to go beyond the emergency are organized by Cittadinanzattiva with the aims to share information, experiences, and reflections on the current situation. Read more (IT). For the programme click here (IT).
- To update our constituency (volunteers, members, partners, etc.) and the public opinions
- Internal communication with dedicated emails, special editions of our weekly newsletter in IT language (i.e: click here: 1,2, etc.), and editions of Active Citizenship Network monthly newsletters in March and April totally dedicated to inform abroad about the contribution of our organization to fight Covid-19 in Italy.
- Cooperation with a media for a BLOG written by the Secretary General of Cittadinanzattiva:
What we are learning (perhaps) about the national health service, by Antonio Gaudioso (30 March 2020)
Phase 2, the 4 D and the 3 A that we can no longer accept , by Antonio Gaudioso (20 April 2020)
Multilateralism is good for your health, by Antonio Gaudioso (4 May 2020)
How much is the right to mobility worth? by Antonio Gaudioso (11 May 2020)
- Support in different debates, webinar, cultural events, such as:
- Editorials, interview and videos. Here you are some examples:
Indoors, but active and open more than ever to collaboration. From Italy, a story of ordinary civic commitment to protect health as a common good, by Mariano Votta