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Vatican hosts congress seeking solutions to global healthcare inequality

According to the UN, every year 303,000 women die from complications in childbirth, almost six million children die before reaching the age of six and 9.6 million new cases of tuberculosis or malaria are detected. In some cases, the reality of death could have been prevented with better health care.

The Dicastery for Promoting Integral Human Development and the International Confederation of Catholic Health-Care Institutions (CIISAC) have joined forces to unite experts from around the world at the international conference "Addressing Global Health Inequalities."

The conference will take place from November 16-18. The main objective is to unify the praxis of about 116,000 Catholic structures specialized in assistance and hospitalization.

President, CIISAC and Ascension Delegate

"Pope Francis is very concerned about raising the equality of care for all persons throughout the world, even the poor and vulnerable. So this conference gives us a great opportunity to really explore what Catholic health ministries are doing around the world, sharing best practices and learnings so that we can move together in the future."

In countries such as Colombia, Azerbaijan, Russia or Brazil, the poorest population cannot access healthcare. According to statistics from 29 economically developed countries, children have an average life expectancy of 80 years, while those born in the 22 countries in sub-Saharan Africa do not reach 60.

Dicastery for Promoting Integral Human Development

"The human or Christian conscience cannot remain indifferent. There is a question of social justice with which, as Pope Francis says, health cannot be managed by pure market rules because they affect human life. There is a common good that is threatened. Justice and solidarity are needed."

Fr. Charles Namugera says this congress aims to draw the attention of governments, organizations and the whole Church, so that the lack of money is not an exclusive factor when it comes to receiving medical attention.