Publish date 27-07-2020

by Mauro Palombo

Bangladesh is a riot of life: two-thirds of Italy is home to more than three ̀its population. Many in many cities have grown out of proportion. Lives but every day they face great threats to health, in a general context of povertỳ and deprivation. The new emergency of the Covid-19 is still adding to its full weight. Don Renato Rosso, missionary "fidei  donum" for de-nod among the nomads of the world, has been in the country for thirty years. His mission also goes through an intense work of human promotion, which always sees us at his side: schooling for children in many innovative forms suitable for situations, listening, help, health interventions. Together with student associations he created and animated in different cities, a completely new and wide-ranging initiative has been underway for some months. What is being tried to evolve is a ̀ mentality: becoming aware of what are serious vehicles of spreading diseases and how some relatively simple measures can begin to inhibit them, with huge health benefits. Many NGOs in the country are now joining the initiative. Just a first step... but how  fundamental!

Don Renato himself tells us: "Dear, something beautiful and again is takinghold. Last year, with a hundred students wanting to volunteer, I started a real campaign to  beat TB and other diseases. What happened? In every inhabited corner of Bangladesh there are  mini-bars-  the "dhokan" – just  over̀ of a coffee table with a gas stove that keeps boiling water to make and sell tea, with some rudimentary biscuit. On this coffee table there are still a few glasses and a bucket of fresh water, in which you rinse the glasses after use. I let you imagine how that water caǹ be reduced after two hours. Healthy and sick people drink tea, so dirty water becomes a tb ll gas station and whatever. The remedy? Very simple: wash the glasses with some of that boiling water. With the arrival of Coronavirus this hygienic norm has become an absolute necessity. 

This and other similar initiatives may become appropriate habits for our dear Bangladesh. Moreover, the benefit of this safety measure will gò well beyond the (hopefully short) period of this calamity, in fact I had set it in mind with THE prevention of TB in mind. For a few months we will focus all our strength to extend this norm, God willing, to the whole country, even if there are millions of mini-bars.bar  

The aid that will come in the next few months will be committed to this campaign. If something like Italy were to happen in Bangladesh, it would be an apocalypse, if we think of the almost total non-existence of hospital facilities and the  fragilitỳ of a large part of the population, not sufficiently fed. Without being a prophet, I am almost sure that God will spare us̀,  because there are so many poor people here who deserve protection for us too. We continue to pray for the sick, for the deceased, and for those who care for them." 

Mauro Palombo
NP maggio 2020

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