The Unequal Pandemic, a virtual exhibition on the INTERSOS intervention in Rome

“The Unequal Pandemic” is the title of the virtual photographic exhibition on the INTERSOS intervention in Rome in response to the COVID-19 emergency.



“The Unequal Pandemic” is the title of the photographic story at the center of the virtual exhibition published on l’Atlante delle Guerre e dei Conflitti, online from Tuesday February 16. The photos taken by Martina Martelloni for INTERSOS are a summary in images of the road work of the NGO’s mobile clinics at the forefront of humanitarian emergencies, in the most crucial months of the COVID-19 pandemic in Rome.

Since March 2020, the work of the mobile units on the territory has reached places often invisible to society, considered only for transit such as train stations. And other marginalised places outside the dynamics of the community system, such as informal settlements. In Rome since the beginning of the pandemic emergency, INTERSOS staff has gone to Termini and Tiburtina stations and to different informal settlements and housing occupations, to help people who face obstacles in accessing the public health service. 

For months, and still today, INTERSOS staff carries out constant awareness-raising activities, medical visits, screening to identify any symptoms of COVID-19 and referral activities to direct identified positive cases to institutional health care paths. Psychotherapeutic support was also guaranteed in addition to directing people with specific needs and vulnerabilities to the relevant services to obtain legal, psychological support and referral to the services of the Municipality to facilitate access to the reception system.

The photos were taken from the end of March 2020 to document front-line intervention operations when the rest of the country, in full lockdown, was witnessing the progress of the pandemic with an increasing number of infections and victims. The numbers of the activities of the mobile teams from the beginning of the intervention to today are:

  • 1,583 people benefited from medical visits and health education sessions
  • 150 vulnerable people in isolation supported at home in coordination with the ASL
  • 250 people with barriers to access to treatment included in diagnosis paths for COVID-19
  • 42 people without resources accompanied to Drive-ins



Flavia Melillo
Flavia Melillo