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Valencia: Order of Malta medical team in action aboard migrant ship

629 saved after five days at sea

Valencia, 17 June 2018

Valencia - Order of Malta volunteers give aid on board ship for migrants

Valencia – Order of Malta volunteers give aid on board ship for migrantsEmbarking at Pozzallo, Sicily, on Dattilo, the Italian Coast Guard vessel, as part of SOS Mediterranee search and sea rescue operations, Order of Malta medical volunteers accompanied the 274 migrants who were transferred from Aquarius to Dattilo, which eventually reached safe harbour in the port of Valencia. Almost a quarter were unaccompanied minors, braving the perilous journey in search of a life free from poverty. Dr Maria Rita Agliozzo, from the Order’s Italian Relief Corps (CISOM): ‘I saw the spark of hope in their eyes.’

Valencia - migrant ship docks

Valencia – migrant ship docks

Since 2008, the Order of Malta’s medical teams have been providing healthcare both on board Italian naval vessels and on the island of Lampedusa, from where the patrol boats leave to reach the targets signalled by IMRCC (Italian Maritime Rescue Coordination Centre) of the Rome Coast Guard.

Through its national Associations and relief corps, the Order of Malta is running many programmes for the reception and integration of migrants and refugees in Europe. In Spain, Italy and in other European countries, volunteers distribute food and basic necessities. In France, the Order gives legal assistance to migrants detained in prison and in Germany over 100 specialised centres offer psychological and social support.  

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The mission of the Order of Malta is inspired by its tradition of ‘Tuitio Fidei et Obsequium Pauperum', to assist the poor and the sick, and bear witness to the Christian faith.


The Sovereign Order of Malta is a sovereign subject of international law. The Order - which is based in Rome, in via Condotti - has its own Government, an independent magistracy, and bilateral diplomatic relations with 110 countries.


The Order of St John of Jerusalem is one of the oldest institutions of Western and Christian civilisation. Present in Palestine in around 1048, it is a lay religious Order, traditionally of military, chivalrous, noble nature.