Prevention and treatment of diabetes in El Salvador – one of the initiatives celebrating the 900th anniversary of Paschal II’s Bull
The celebrations in 2013 for the nine hundredth anniversary of Pope Paschal II’s Bull are not only in Rome but also in the numerous countries where the Order of Malta is present. The Order’s National Association has set up a healthcare campaign for the prevention and treatment of diabetes in El Salvador, a widespread disease in this Central American country. Five hundred people have taken advantage of the initiative, launched on 17 February when the new clinics opened their doors offering everyone a free glycemic test. The Order of Malta’s Embassy in El Salvador also promoted a two-and-a-half minute film, broadcast by the Tele Corporaciòn Salvadorena (TCS) network, on activities in El Salvador. Entitled “Cosas Buonas”, it was aired several times during February 2013. A mass was celebrated on 15 February in the Association’s chapel in San Salvador for the Papal Bull anniversary and, again in the capital, a classical music concert was held in the Teatro Presidential on 17 February. The initiatives were covered by the media and El Diario de Hoy, a leading newspaper in El Salvador, published two articles on the Order of Malta and its celebrations, as well as on the concert. Present in the central American country since 1974, it is estimated that the Order of Malta has provided healthcare to some four million people. The Association runs hospitals, dental and physiotherapy clinics, centres for the elderly and orphanages. It also manages post-emergency situations and provided support for hundreds of displaced families after the tropical storm Agatha and the widespread floods of 2010. Given the country’s frequent exposure to calamities, on 15 November last the Order of Malta’s Association and the Salvadorian Ministry of Defence signed an agreement for logistic, technical and material cooperation in the event of a natural disaster at national level.