Lieutenant Colonel Antonino De Pascale, JFC Naples Base Support Group Commander (right), hands a JFC Naples appreciation plaque to Dr. Antonio Postiglione, General Director of Health Defence Service of the Campania Region.
Naples, Italy - Two leaders from Joint Force Command Naples, Lieutenant Colonel Antonino De Pascale, Base Support Group Commander, and Commander Massimo Cuccovillo, Morale Welfare Activity Head attended the launch of two sailboats that departed from the Torre Annunziata harbor on June 6 2022, to perform a cruise along the Tyrrhenian coast as part of the "Let the Sails Be Hoisted. Fair Winds for Research" project.
The Campania Region's Directorate for Health Protection and the Regional Rare Disease Coordination Centre, in cooperation with the University of Naples Luigi Vanvitelli and the Torre Annunziata Italian Navy League created the initiative.
The initiative is aimed at raising public awareness of the issues related to rare diseases, the importance of early diagnosis and scientific research to find new therapies to fight rare diseases.
According to the EU, "Up to 36 million people in the EU live with a rare disease. There are more than 6000 distinct rare diseases in the EU. So, whilst one rare disease may affect only a handful of patients, another may touch as many as 245 000. Around 80% of rare diseases are of genetic origin and, of those, 70% already start in childhood."
Lt. Col. De Pascale underlined that the invitation to this event was proof of the strong relationship between NATO and local institutions in Naples, and that he was proud to represent NATO in a campaign that chose sailing as a means to spread the importance of early diagnosis for rare diseases.
Lt. Col. De Pascale went on to thank the regional health authorities who attended the event, namely the Director General of the Health Defense Service, with whom a strong cooperative bond had been established during the pandemic.
The boats, the Comet 333 Over the Wind led by Professor Mario Santini, Head Chest Surgery Full Professor and the Abelgrassy Daphne, led by Rosario Gracco, a textile entrepreneur, will navigate along the Italian coast for twenty stages until they will arrive in Marseille, France on July 5.
The President of the Torre Annunziata Italian Navy League, Dr. Antonella Giglio, is one of the promoters and supporters of the project.
"The Torre Annunziata Naval League has offered to organize the logistics for this extraordinary crossing to increase the public's awareness of rare diseases" Giglio said. "We shall call on ports in Lazio, Tuscany and Liguria and go as far as Marseille.
Events will be organized at each location to involve families having to cope with rare diseases and give them advice on how to better deal with them" she concluded.