Dr. Gino Strada was an Italian surgeon and human rights activist who established medical charity Emergency that has treated more than 11 million people in war-torn countries. “Health care is a human right” was the organization’s motto. Since its founding, Emergency has worked in 19 countries, including Rwanda, Iraq and Yemen. It is now active in eight countries, including Afghanistan.
Born in 1948 in Lombardy, Italy, Gino Strada started his career as a specialist surgeon following his graduation from the University of Milan. Through his work, he spent time working in hospitals across the US, Italy, and South Africa. But it wasn’t until 1989 that he joined the International Committee for the Red Cross, as a war surgeon.
In 1994 he, alongside his wife Teresa, founded Emergency, a NGO that works to provide free, high-quality, medical and surgical assistance to the victims of war, poverty, and landmines. Through Emergency’s hospitals and centers, Dr. Strada had a direct view of the devastating effects of war and its trail of destruction, poverty and unexploded land mines. He was an outspoken antiwar activist.
Grazie mille, Gino!
‘Treating the wounded is neither generous nor merciful, it is only just. It has to be done’