Operating a Mobile Medical Unit on the Lebanese-Syrian border
— Lebanon —
The Fondation Pierre Fabre has been supporting the Khaldieh Medical Centre in Lebanon, in partnership with the Order of Malta, since 2002. The Foundation’s commitment to the Middle East is an extension of the personal initiative of Pierre Fabre, who first began providing this aid after the Lebanon war.
In addition to faithfully pursuing Mr Fabre’s initial commitment, the Fondation Pierre Fabre has elected to increase its support to Lebanon in view of the country’s current circumstances. Sharing 375 kilometres of border with neighbouring Syria, Lebanon is currently seeing a record influx of refugees due to the Syrian conflict: in July 2015, there were 1.2 million refugees for a country of four million inhabitants. This situation creates substantial disparities, particularly in terms of health issues. Having been contacted by the Order of Malta, the Fondation Pierre Fabre funded a special endowment to purchase medicines for the Kefraya Socio-Medical Centre in the Beqaa region.
With more than 400,000 Syrian refugees living in this border zone, the vast majority of them women and children, access to healthcare has become a humanitarian emergency.
In response to this crisis, the Fondation Pierre Fabre and the Order of Malta Lebanon are joining forces to create a Mobile Medical Unit that provides medical assistance to Syrian refugees and the local population. The partnership ensures the financing of the mobile unit (purchase of a bus, conversion of the interior, supply of equipment and medicines) and two years of operation (financing a medical team of two doctors, a nurse and a social worker).
The mobile medical team began work in the spring of 2016 and is expected to handle up to 1,200 consultations per month. Its services are designed not only for refugees, but also for local Lebanese populations, who sometimes find themselves in conditions nearly as difficult as what refugees experience. In addition to medical visits and delivering medicines (free of charge for those who cannot pay), patients needing further care can be transferred to the Kefraya Medical Centre or to an area hospital. Between July and December 2016, more than 5,000 patients – 45% of whom were children under 11 – received care. In the first months of the Mobile Medical Unit’s operation, seven out of 10 patients were refugees.
By pursuing this initiative, the Foundation is satisfying one of its statutory missions: to give those plunged into severe crisis by political or economic upheaval and/or natural disaster sufficient access to quality healthcare.
See the February 2017 report from the field:
Area of intervention
Access to quality healthcare
- Bus purchase and conversion
- Supply of equipment and medicines
- Financing the medical team for a two-year period
In 2017, the Mobile Medical Unit travelled 10,113 kilometres and conducted 10,750 consultations. Out of all patients, 80% were refugees, half of whom were under the age of 18. In coordination with the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, the mobile unit has extended its activity to new camps and villages.
We have already had another Mobile Medical Unit carry out successful operations in the north of the country since late 2014. We can therefore rely on skills and experience transfer. This one primarily serves refugees, but also helps the host Lebanese populations living in this poor region.
Ambassador of the Order of Malta Lebanon and Chairman of the Association Malte Liban
- Association Malte Liban
Since 2002, Fondation Pierre Fabre makes a commitment in the Lebanon, for the benefit of the medical and social center of Khaldieh.
Support for the Khaldieh medical-social centre
The Global South eHealth Observatory, a Fondation Pierre Fabre initiative, is designed to identify, document, promote and help develop eHealth initiatives that improve access to quality healthcare and medicines for the most disadvantaged populations in ressource-limited countries.
The Global South eHealth Observatory
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This third podcast takes us back to the origins of this intervention and to the heart of two programmes – one in Lebanon, the other in the Democratic Republic of Congo – that are emblematic of the Foundation’s commitment.