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Romani community in third-largest Czech city donates truckload of vitamins to hospital in gratitude for their work during COVID-19

25.11.2020 8:08
Josef Stojka, chair of the Union of Vlax Roma (Unie Olašských Romů), delivered palettes of beverages, fruit and sweets to the hospitla in Ostrava's Poruba quarter to thank them for their work during the COVID-19 pandemic. (PHOTO:  Facebook page of Josef Stojka)
Josef Stojka, chair of the Union of Vlax Roma (Unie Olašských Romů), delivered palettes of beverages, fruit and sweets to the hospitla in Ostrava's Poruba quarter to thank them for their work during the COVID-19 pandemic. (PHOTO: Facebook page of Josef Stojka)

On 20 November the Blesk tabloid in the Czech Republic reported that the Vlax Romani leader Josef Stojka (54) and representatives of Romani organizations have expressed their gratitude to the Teaching Hospital in Ostrava's Poruba quarter. Health care workers there recently managed to save a Romani community member suffering from a life-threatening course of COVID-19 from the clutches of death. 

The patient was suffering from serious pneumonia and doctors had to revive him after his heart stopped. Stojka, the chair of the Union of Vlax Roma (Unie Olašských Romů), brought palettes of beverages, fruit and sweets to nurses at the hospital, who were very moved.

Stojka delivered the gifts using a smaller flatbed truck that was absolutely full. "Our staff were really very glad and I believe that thanks to this gift they will have the necessary energy to keep working," said Hana Maiwaelderová of the Teaching Hospital.  

"Romani people are not indifferent to the situation with COVID, we wanted to thank the staff in the Anesthesiology and Resuscitation Department as well as the other departments for how they are deploying their skills to combat the coronavirus," Stojka said, adding that all local Romani authorities had come together to express their gratitude. Awareness of the disease and calls to follow the measures to suppress the pandemic are being spread among the Romani community through their leaders.

"They are decidedly not underestimating this disease. COVID does not choose you based on age or skin color. We recently lost a friend to it in Brno. I say not just to Romani people, but to everybody:  Hang in there and may God bless you," Stojka said.

fk, translated by Gwendolyn Albert
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COVID-19, Ostrava, Roma, Socially excluded localities



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