A new kidney dialysis unit has been installed at Safad Hospital in Beddawi Palestinian refugee camp.
This marks an achievement in health care services for Palestinian refugees in Lebanon.
Prior to this new installation, there was only one kidney dialysis unit available to them at Al Hamshari Hospital in Sidon, South Lebanon. For the residents of the seven Palestinian refugee camps that are not located near Al Hamshari, paying a visit to this unit required a long day of traveling, harsh physical demands and financial resources for transportation.
Ahmad Shaloun is a Palestinian refugee from Beddawi. Two years ago, Ahmad experienced renal failure causing him to need regular kidney dialysis sessions. “My health condition never allowed me to travel to Sidon twice or thrice per week for dialysis,” said Ahmad. “Some philanthropists helped me pay for medicines and dialysis at a private hospital in nearby Tripoli. On average, the fee per session is $100.” Now, Ahmad is receiving the medical care he needed and is undergoing dialysis sessions at the newly established unit.
“We know of a total of 116 cases of Palestinians around Lebanon that need kidney dialysis, of which 82 are in the South and 34 in the North,” said Bahija Mayassi, Executive Director of Health Care Society in Lebanon.
In coordination with Health Care Society, Anera has donated in-kind medical relief items worth $170,000 to support the new dialysis unit and other support services at Safad Hospital. The donations come from Anera’s longtime donors AmeriCares and Direct Relief.
“I pay around $300 for medicine, on top of the fees for dialysis, but now with this unit I am relieved from the fees of dialysis,” said Ahmad Shaloun, who also experiences other health complications like high blood pressure, diabetes and heart problems.
“Most patients with kidney diseases suffer from other health conditions, and kidney patients become more prone to complications due to the nature of the disease, the dialysis process and their fragile immune systems,” explained Dr. Saber Hassoun, the Director of the Kidney Care Unit at Safad Hospital.
I pay around $300 for medicine, on top of the fees for dialysis, but now with this unit I am relieved from the fees of dialysis.
The newly established unit includes seven kidney dialysis machines that function on a two-shift basis to be able to serve all patients. “Each dialysis session is about four hours long, and the World Health Organization suggests that at least 12 hours per week is required,” said Dr. Hassoun.
The staff of the unit consists of two doctors, five nurses, a secretary, and a logistics officer. Two of the nurses have received technical nursing degrees as part of Anera’s Nursing Scholarship Program.