(AGI) Rome, July 3 - The Order of Malta has been helpingItalian authorities save the lives of migrants in the Strait ofSicily since 2008. The Order's Italian Relief Corps (CISOM) hasassisted 5,000 men, women and children. CISCOM nationaldirector, Mauro Casinghini, gave the figures at a pressconference in the beautiful headquarters at Villa Magistrale inRome on Thursday. For six years, the Italian Corps of theOrder of Malta has been based in Lampedusa and has operateddirectly on the patrol boats of the Finance Police and theCoast Guard involved in the SAR project funded by the EU. Inaddition, CISOM now has two doctors on board Italian navalvessels Etna and Dattilo, which have rescued thousands ofpeople over the last few weeks as part of operation MareNostrum. "We are boosting our medical capacity, with twomore doctors and two nurses who are constantly available" foroperations, said Mr Casinghini. Overall, the Order of Maltahas provided 289 doctors, 270 nurses and 123 rescuers foroperations in the Strait of Sicily. "The new government,"assured Grand Chancellor Albrecht Boeselager, who was electedin late May, "will continue and will make use of the mission ofthe Sovereign Order of Malta, which has been helping people indifficulty in the 120 countries where it operates for over 900years, with its ability to recognise and respond to newemergencies." (AGI) . .