Unidos apesar de distantes

June 2020

Ongoing project

Unidos apesar de distantes (United but distant)

Università Cattolica, through its University Centre for International Solidarity, participates in two international cooperation projects promoted and coordinated by AUCI — Associazione Universitaria per la Cooperazione Internazionale.In the realization of the interventions, in progress at the District of Namaacha (Province of Maputo) in Mozambique, also participate Policlinico Universitario "A. Gemelli", the Archdiocese and Caritas of Maputo and NGO GVC-WeWorld

Press Review

Interventions foreseen as part of the project

The project provides for the supply of protective devices for healthcare personnel and patients in the two health centres, the installation of oxygen therapy equipment and in particular promotes the use of the ultrasound for chest and lung examinations in the presence of Covid-19 patients. The intervention is carried out at the District Hospital of Namaacha and the Maternal and Child Hospital of Mafuiane, which guarantee the entire coverage of the Maputo District, near South Africa, the first outbreak of Covid-19 in Sub-Saharan Africa.

The ultrasound examination in the diagnosis of pulmonary pathology from COVID-19 offers many advantages: wide clinical versatility of the instrument, possibility of execution directly at the patient's bedside avoiding moving to other rooms or exposure to radiological examinations, ease of disinfection, repeatability over time, fetal and pulmonary evaluation performed by a single figure at the same time with consequent reduction of contact exposure between clinical staff and patients, in the case of pregnant women.  In particular, chest ultrasound is a dynamic, risk-free diagnostic tool that can also be performed at home, if the portable device is available, in order to limit the risk of contagion present when the patient is transported to crowded health facilities. Moreover, the examination is able to intercept the minimum initial alterations of pneumopathy, to estimate an index of severity and to follow its evolution. Together with the clinic, this examination can become essential for early diagnosis and appropriate prognostic evaluation to support the management of the clinical course and the eventual decision to hospitalize.

The project aims to raise awareness among the population living in both urban (Maputo and Matola) and rural areas (Namaacha, Boane and Moamba District) of the Diocese of Maputo about the risks of the Covid-19 epidemic and the prevention initiatives to be activated.

The intervention includes information and training activities to be carried out both in direct contact with the local population and remotely through social networks and the enhancement of the consolidated network of contacts and relations of the Diocese and Mozambican Caritas, with the aim of involving areas outside the diocesan territory of Maputo. The training will be addressed to Mozambican health personnel, who will play an active role in the dissemination of the prevention, diagnosis and treatment plan for those infected by Covid-19. For the definition of the contents, which will be translated into the local language (changano), reference will be made to the scientific information provided by the World Health Organization - WHO.

The project foresees the following activities:

  • creation of videos and information spots aimed at the local population on the correct behavioural norms to be respected in order to avoid contagion, to be transmitted via social networks and on the closed circuit monitors already present in health centres, parishes and public places;
  • setting up itinerant health points in health centres, local markets, parishes and border areas, where social and educational staff will come into contact with the local population, provide basic health and hygiene advice, distribute information leaflets and masks made locally; it will also be possible to measure the temperature and, if necessary, activate the diagnostic and health treatment protocol;
  • production of masks made by volunteers from the Diocese and Caritas;
  • remote training and technical assistance meetings for local health personnel held by professors of the Faculty of Medicine and Surgery of the Università Cattolica and doctors of the Policlinico Universitario "A. Gemelli".

Project sheets


The project is funded by the Italian Episcopal Conference which, in order to contribute concretely to the fight against the spread of the Covid-19 epidemic in the most vulnerable contexts of the planet, has entrusted its pastoral bodies, the Committee for charitable interventions in favor of the Third World and Caritas Italiana, to develop an urgent action strategy that intervenes at the health and training level to provide the health structures of developing countries with the protective devices for health personnel, essential for the management of emergencies, and the therapeutic tools basis for dealing with the pandemic.

AUCI — Associazione Universitaria per la Cooperazione Internazionale is the leader and coordinator of the project. AUCI intervenes in sustainable human development by promoting people's citizenship rights, contributing to the protection of the planet, pursuing an ideal of social progress, building bridges of peace and non-violence and developing international partnerships for joint actions and community impact. AUCI has always been engaged in health systems strengthening projects to promote access to care and the improvement of health services, in particular with regard to maternal and child health, public health, infectious and chronic diseases.