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Lebanon

OUR COVID-19 RESPONSE IN LEBANON

MSF has launched a quick response unit in the capital Beirut, where 70 COVID-19 positive cases have been identified. In a 10-day period, our teams took more than 200 swab samples from people with symptoms in the Basta area.  

Our teams are providing information to both suspected and confirmed COVID-19 patients on their health condition, as well as providing general health awareness sessions and mental health support.    

In northern Beirut, MSF has partnered with a local organisation called the Anti-Racism Movement to provide medical support and other assistance through a helpline to migrant communities during the lockdown. In late May/early June we launched and managed a quick response unit in Nabaa and Basta neighbourhoods to support refugees and migrant workers, 70 of whom had tested positive.  

In south Beirut we have launched a new pilot program to train and assist families in the practice of shielding, a voluntary process that can provide additional protection to people at higher risk of contracting COVID-19. We are running awareness campaigns targeting frontline workers and others who have daily contact with the community to help them prevent potential transmission during their work.

MSF teams are supporting hospital staff in Zahle, east of Beirut, by managing a triage zone for children, composed of tents on the hospital grounds. We are also assisting with management of patients suspected to have COVID-19 in the inpatient ward and the paediatric intensive care unit. So far we have had one patient who has tested positive for COVID-19; the patient was able to be treated in the emergency room of the COVID-19 zone before being referred back home for self-isolation.   

Our hospital in nearby Bar Elias, which usually handles elective surgery and wound care, is now prepared and on stand-by to host COVID-19 patients. This has entailed postponement of all surgery, but our wound care activities are able to continue.       

In addition to adapting activities in the hospital services we run, MSF staff have also been in contact with several governmental hospitals (in Hermel, Saida, and Tripoli) to support them with logistics, medical supplies, and staff training.      

We are engaging with community leaders and partner NGOs to spread awareness about general protective measures, especially in crowded refugee camps and informal tented settlements. 

 

Can you make a donation to support our COVID-19 response?

Right now, Médecins Sans Frontières is providing much needed support and medical care in over 30 countries to counter the COVID-19 pandemic.
 
Our teams are also gearing up to confront potential outbreaks in the hundreds of areas we were already working before the pandemic struck. We are deploying medical staff, sending supplies and applying nearly 50 years of experience fighting epidemics to protect the most vulnerable and save lives.
 
Can you help increase our capacity to respond by making a donation to our COVID-19 Crisis Appeal?

 

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Médecins Sans Frontières/Doctors Without Borders (MSF) has been working in Lebanon since 1976, when we began our response to the 15 year civil war. MSF is present across Lebanon and continues to provide Syrian refugees and vulnerable local communities free, high quality primary healthcare.

Home to approximately 6 million people, more than a quarter of Lebanon’s population is now made up of refugees. This influx of people has put immense strain on the country’s economy and infrastructure and this is particularly felt in the health sector. Lebanon's national services, such as education, housing, water and electricity are suffering from a lack of investment and the pressure of providing for a growing population with such specific needs.

Healthcare for refugees living in Lebanon

Despite the efforts of the Lebanese Ministry of Public Health in supporting primary and secondary healthcare for refugees, the cost of consultations, laboratory tests, and medication remains a barrier for a significant number of refugees.

More than 1.5 million Syrians have fled into Lebanon since the conflict began in 2011, making Lebanon and Jordan the countries hosting the largest proportion of refugees in the world.

Our teams provide treatment for acute and chronic diseases, sexual and reproductive healthcare, mental health support and health promotion activities. MSF also operates a home-based care program for patients with chronic diseases who suffer from mobility problems.

MSF expanded its services to offer secondary and tertiary care with the opening of a paediatric unit in a government hospital in 2017. Teams also run mother and child health centres across the country, for vulnerable communities of various nationalities, including largely Palestinian and Syrian refugees. 

Lebanon - Syrian refugees, Misery beyond the war zone

MSF runs three primary healthcare centres in Tripoli and Akkar governorates and a dedicated mental health program in three centres, targeting vulnerable Syrians and Lebanese.

In October 2017, MSF implemented a water and sanitation program in informal tente settlements in a number of villages in Akkar that are not assisted by other humanitarian organisations. 

Find out more about Lebanon