- On behalf of President Enrique Peña Nieto, the president of the Citizens’ Advisory Council of the DIF acknowledged the work carried out by doctors, nurses and volunteers for the health of Mexican children.
- Accompanied by Secretary of Health, Dr. José Narro Robles and general director of the Children's Hospital of Mexico, José Alberto García Aranda and Senior Officer of the National DIF, Jesús Naime Libién, she toured the Hostel for patients' relatives.
During the celebration of the 75th anniversary of the Federico Gómez Children's Hospital of Mexico, president of the Citizens’ Advisory Council of the National DIF Angelica Rivera de Peña thanked the doctors, nurses, volunteers and parents for their noble contribution to the development and progress of this public health institution in which medical services have been granted to thousands of children throughout its history. During this period, she said, they have been given love, attention and care.
“My heart has been with the Children's Hospital of Mexico since the first visit I made,” she said. "My husband the president congratulates you on the great work you do for the health of our children. I am very grateful to him for all the work he does for our country," she said.
She recalled that, when she began her work with this institution, she saw how parents used to spend the night on the sidewalks without being able to sleep, sometimes in the rain, waiting for news about the health of their children. However, now they have the hostel, where relatives have a safe place to sleep and eat.
When she visited the facilities, Rivera de Peña toured the new chapel and met with the parents who use the hostel. "Who does not want to be near their children when they are sick? That's why we built this house, so that they can be nearby, safe and calm and with all the services. This house was built thanks to the support of my husband Enrique Peña Nieto, Secretary of Health José Narro and businessmen. We are very concerned about everyone's health, but also about parents’ well-being,” she said.
During her visit, the president's wife also unveiled the plaque commemorating over seven decades of service of this Hospital and took the opportunity to visit the patients. She even returned to the area where the bell is traditionally rung by children who have managed to recover. She also met resident physicians who dress up as various characters when they look after their young patients.
Angélica Rivera de Peña shared with the children there some of her reflections about the trip she made to the Vatican with children from the Federico Gómez Children's Hospital of Mexico to thank Pope Francis for his visit to our country a few years ago.
"There in Rome we met some of the children at the Bambino Gesù Hospital and we told them about our tradition of ringing the bell when they are discharged. They really liked that tradition, so we left them one of our bells, as a symbol of hope and love from all the children of Mexico,” she added. “We also agreed to sign a collaboration agreement between the two hospitals”.
Speaking to the parents and patients, she said: “Thank you, children, because through your example and love, you make us better people. I have learned a lot from all of you, you have taught me that the most important thing is to have love and hope. The world needs all of us to carry hope in our hearts, to give without hoping and to receive without forgetting”.
And she concluded: "Something that makes me happy is always believing that to turn on a light you do not have to turn off other people’s lights. And that one of the main values in life is to be congruent, which is why my words and actions always go hand in hand. That makes us better people. Thank you all for what you have given me, for the experiences that touch the soul. Being with you, supporting you and loving and helping you has been the greatest privilege life has ever given me”.
It should be noted that the Children's Hospital of Mexico is a pioneer in Latin America and internationally renowned.
Health Secretary José Narro Robles acknowledged the president’s commitment to the health of children and young people. He said that over the years Mexico has changed for the better and is a great country.
"It is a great country, among many other things, because it has great institutions, and in the health sector, we feel very proud to have contributed public institutions. These are due to people, to human beings who have built them, and made them, which has allowed us to have what we have today,” he added.
During his speech, Agustín García Aranda, general director of the Children's Hospital, said that the hostel was created through the efforts of Rivera de Peña and to date, has benefited over 30,000 parents. He added that the achievements of this hospital include the incorporation of a linear accelerator to treat children with cancer and that new magnetic resonance equipment has been installed.
He concluded by saying that this hospital offers pre-school classes, affiliated to the SEP, to contribute to the education and safety of the children of hospital workers.