Organized by the Reggio section of the AIDM (Italian Association of Women Doctors) with the collaboration of the Commission for Equal Opportunities and Gender Medicine of the Order of Doctors of the province of Reggio Calabria, it was held last Saturday – according to a press release -, in the auditorium of same Order, the ECM (Continuing Medical Education) Course on the theme: “Gender-specific medicine: an innovative approach to health inequalities in the homeless”.
A meeting that made it possible to highlight the reality of the “homeless”, individuals without a fixed abode, to deal with the main pathologies that affect them, to discuss the strategies to be undertaken with respect to a truly worrying phenomenon from a health and social point of view, highlighted by the 2021 Istat data according to which the number of marginalized and homeless people amounts to 96,127 (65,407 males and 30,790 females) of which 38 percent are of foreign origin.
“This is a very important meeting – highlighted Dr. Anna Rosaria Federico, president of the AIDM section of Reggio Calabria, immediately after the video greetings of the AIDM national president, Antonella Vezzani, of Dr. Serenella Caristo, AIDM Calabria regional delegate and of the president of the Order, doctor Pasquale Veneziano – because it concerns the homeless, a very disadvantaged population, and the AIDM does not only deal with women’s health but with gender discrimination. So, even more so, in this case we try to improve and intervene regarding prevention and treatment and to strengthen the centrality of the person”. During the meeting, among other things, the main pathologies of the homeless were discussed, which are on the increase in our country following the economic crisis and the pandemic. “The numbers have increased by 20 – 25 percent with higher disease risks and lower life expectancy – explained the president of the Reggio Emilia section of the AIDM – the morbidity and mortality rate is very high and the doctors unfortunately from these subjects are seen as stigmatizing and therefore tend to isolate themselves. As regards the population of women, two groups must be considered: those with children and those who are solitary. Our goal is to treat and prevent the diseases of this fragile population, above all by improving access to services. Because the problem – underlined Dr. Anna Rosaria Federico – is precisely the relationship they have with the healthcare facilities. We hope to achieve this goal by trying to improve the clinical outcome of diseases in such a way that the social costs can also improve. It must be added that, compared to this situation – concludes the president of the Reggio Emilia section of the AIDM – the commitment of the volunteers is notable because the aid and assistance are above all in their hands. Health is a universal fundamental right and therefore we hope that the priorities will be evaluated so that this phenomenon improves, as well as that of marginalization, the latter also experienced heavily in the field of health”.
For Serenella Caristo, AIDM Calabria regional delegate, the topic discussed during the meeting is one of those completely forgotten. “Even the scientific literature does not help us because the works published on these issues are very few, despite their pressing nature. It was thought that this phenomenon was the prerogative of overseas megacities but instead it is worryingly present in European states and in Italy, especially in Northern cities. This is a phenomenon that has increased greatly and even the Istat data do not help us because the latest dates back to many years ago and is therefore certainly not updated”.
The report by Dr. Giovanna Campolo, child neuropsychiatrist and AIDM associate, on homeless women and the psychosocial and psychiatric aspects of gender is interesting. “The conference touches on an innovative topic precisely because it is a weak topic that the AIDM thought it wanted to deal with. I tried to highlight with my report the homeless, especially women, with the problem of mental health. The real truth that has come out is that these topics, both mental health and homelessness, are full of preconceptions and stigma. Stigma is something that is within us and represents a limit for any type of research and solution project and for any topic”.
For Agnese Mollo, president of the AIDM Calabria, Riviera dei Cedri section, “this phenomenon was once more frequent in the USA while now it is more generalised, a real medical-health emergency which also concerns Italy and our South. As the Italian Association of women doctors we would like to give, as far as possible, our contribution to address these health and social emergency problems.
Dr. Tindarita Todaro, OMCeO secretary of Vibo Valentia and vice-president of the CAO (Dentist Register Commission) of the same city, also spoke and underlined the importance of the course “because it highlights how gender medicine, understood not only as the difference between men and woman, manages to give us an orientation of what the care and employment guidelines for these subjects should be.”
The following doctors reported at the meeting during the various sessions: Anna Rosaria Federico, president of the AIDM section of Reggio Calabria; Giovanna Campolo, child neuropsychiatrist; Giuseppe Foti, Director of the Gom Infectious Diseases Unit; Pietro Volpe, Director of the Gom cardio-thoracic-vascular department; Marianna Bevacqua, medical director of the UOC of Urology qualified for transplantation, Gom; Giovanna Malara, freelance dermatology and venereology; Carmelo Covani, outpatient pediatric surgery specialist Asp 5 RC; Caterina Romeo, specializing in Medical Oncology AOU Renato Dulbecco of Catanzaro; Domenica Maria Germanò, dentist, freelancer; The various sessions of the meeting were moderated by doctors Carmela Vittoria Marchese, Agnese Mollo, Annamaria Rosato and Teodoro Vadalà.