Rome – OFWs of Rome, Italy and nearby communities recently attended the regular Thursday Forum, held every last Thursday of the month at the Social Hall, Philippine Embassy. Aimed as one of the regular channels for communication and feedback between OFW Filipino community leaders/members and the Philippine Embassy, POLO Rome sees to it that OFWs have access to air out issues and other matters concerning their everyday lives as OFWs.
Topics discussed during the recent July 28 Forum were: Usapang Pangkalusugan ng mga OFWs, which featured common ailments and their prevention among OFWs by the FNA or Filipino Nurses Association led by FNA President Tess Pantaleon and Voluntary Assisted Return by Dottsa. Valentina Ranaldi from CIR (Consiglio Italiano per I Rifugiati) ONLUS . Health Educators Group led by Veronica Sabal also shared about Nutritional Immunology in addition to the updates and announcements about POLO programs and services by Labatt Chona M. Mantilla.
Consul Jarie Osias of the Consular Office, Philippine Embassy lent his support with his presence and delivered a short message expressing the Embassy’s commitment to serve the OFWs.
With the ageing OFW population in Italy and the entry of a new wave of OFWs, mostly relatives of current OFWs and the growth of second and third generation of OFW families, including youth and children who were either born or raised up in Italy, family health issues and concerns have become an utmost, important concern.
Although Italian laws are very protective of workers in general, which require employers to pay pension, disability and medical contributions, OFWs still need to be aware about health issues confronting them. Foreign workers are covered by free medical assistance during their stay in Italy, but some either fail to avail of these services due to lack of knowledge or information or still prefer to avail of medical services back in the Philippines.
POLO-Rome, meanwhile, has scheduled at least two medical outreach services, namely, Free Mammography Tests with Sanita Pubblica (Ministry of Health) in September; and Isang Araw Lang Medical Outreach with UNTV-4 this November. This is in addition to the medical outreach services by the FNA with Filipino communities in Italy. (by: POLO-Rome)