– ROME- More than 47,000 kilometres covered in 6 months, from West Africa to South Africa and back up through Central Africa. The Overland 12 humanitarian expedition left Turin on 4 January 2010 to conclude its journey on 5 July in Rome, where it will be received by Minister Franco Frattini at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
The caravan, composed of 16 people covering 4 shifts of driving, with a total of over 40 people on board 6 IVECO vehicles, crossed Africa to offer health assistance to the communities it met on the way. The Hospital-University Agency of Parma and the University of Parma provided professional, health and scientific expertise, with four of its doctors specialising in intensive care and emergency treatment taking part in the mission.
The involvement of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the World Health Organisation (WHO), Italian Development Cooperation and the Salesian Missions also helped make the mission possible. Through its Development Cooperation arm, the MFA supported an initiative to promote mother-and-baby health. The initiative also aims to help prevent, and treat sufferers from, the main diseases afflicting the African continent: AIDS, malaria, cholera and leprosy. The initiative was conducted by a doctor and an operator who screened educational films.
The expedition travelled through numerous sites where Italian Cooperation has an active presence, and many others where no form of assistance has ever been provided. Rural areas, for example: far from their capital cities, and where the population generally has no access to the information broadcast by radio, television and Internet.
Overland 12 will be featured in 16 documentaries to be shown on RAI 1starting in summer 2010.