Vatican City, Oct 25, 2021 / 14:00 pm (CNA).
A mobile health clinic stopped in St. Peter’s Square on Monday to provide nine hours of free heart and general check-ups for the poor and homeless who live near the Vatican.
The clinic is part of an initiative called “The Streets of the Heart,” which is traveling around Italy to raise awareness about the prevention of cardiovascular diseases.
According to the Italian Society of Cardiology, with the coronavirus pandemic, the rate of heart attacks tripled in 2020 compared to 2019, and one in two heart patients did not show up for follow-up visits.
Doctors from Rome’s San Carlo di Nancy Hospital worked at the clinic throughout the day, seeing around 100 people, cardiologist Sandro Carta said.
He told EWTN News on Oct. 25 that “today was a special day, dedicated to those called ‘the least,’ those most in need, those who do not have easy access to primary care.”
“Many people were received in our mobile clinic, some with real cardiac problems who are not receiving adequate treatment,” he said. “We have invited them to come this week to our hospital, San Carlo, where they can receive the care they need.”
The doctor noted that the initiative fits with Pope Francis’ many appeals to help the poor and “corresponds with our spirit of work.”
“We work with this spirit every day at our hospital, and so, each of us wanted to dedicate this day to working completely free for these people,” he said.
Cardinal Konrad Krajewski, who, as papal almoner, is in charge of the pope’s charity, presented the doctors with rosaries blessed by Pope Francis.