Fr De Nardi is working tirelessly for the betterment of the poorest of the poor.

In San Benito located within the heart of Guatemala, there is a public hospital that cannot meet the demands of the population: it is the only health facility in the area of Petén, a region as large as Belgium, with a population exceeding one million inhabitants. To meet, at least in part, the needs of the most disadvantaged population, the Salesian missionary Fr Giampiero De Nardi, with the help of medical and nursing staff, offers health support to the poorest.

Fr De Nardi brings forth his mission in the heart of Guatemala with strength, determination and great sensitivity to the social inequalities that have always characterized Guatemalan society. He is an old-style missionary: he runs the oratory, celebrates Mass in the parish and in the surrounding neighborhoods, helps those who knock on his door. he is also a young priest who is attentive to gender-based abuse issues; he opened a Help Desk for women who are victims of domestic abuse and those of infancy (unfortunately Guatemala has high rates of both of these terrible crimes).

The medical dispensary attached to the Salesian parish is one of the activities to which he is most attached. Because of the scarce availability of drinking water and of hygienic precariousness, diseases are widespread: tuberculosis, typhus, malaria, worms and diarrhea, skin diseases ... But also psychological problems (depression is widespread), respiratory diseases, sometimes fatal for children and the elderly, digestive problems, AIDS, genital infections, early and risky pregnancies, exanthematous diseases

All these ills easily afflict women, and even more children, because they are the most vulnerable, a situation only worsened by the fact that there is a high rate of chronic infantile malnutrition in Latin America: 49.3% of children under the age of five suffer from lack of food.

The medical dispensary fails to be economically independent because the drugs are distributed free to needy families. A tube of antiviral ointment, an anti-parasite pack, folic acid tablets - essential for preventing fetal malformations - are "luxuries" that too many people cannot afford in San Benito. For this reason, Fr De Nardi has asked for help from the Don Bosco Missions of Turin: the Salesian wants to continue to guarantee medicines and treatments to anyone in need.

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Republished from Ageniza Info Salesiana.
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