Ensuring Vital Anesthesia for the Vulnerable
“Without the support of organizations like Americares and Anera… we would have closed our doors a long time ago.”
Thanks to a generous medical donation of sevoflurane from Americares, Anera recently provided the Palestinian Red Crescent Society (PRCS) in Lebanon with a one-year supply of the essential anesthetic.
Sevoflurane is an inhaled anesthetic used to induce general anesthesia during surgeries. Anesthesiologist Fady Abdul Razek, head of the medical staff at Haifa Hospital in Burj El Barajneh Palestinian Refugee Camp, says the anesthetic is valued because it is very safe, even for infants and patients with chronic heart, liver, and kidney diseases.
“Unfortunately, like most medications in Lebanon,” says Razek, “sevoflurane is getting harder and harder to find here.”
Ibrahim El Ahmad, the head pharmacist at Haifa Hospital in Burj El Barajneh Palestinian Refugee Camp, explains:
“This medication must be present at any and every hospital! However, it is very expensive and we’re always short of the quantity needed. So we would only use it in urgent cases.”
PRCS relies on medical donations to stock its pharmacies. The organization will use the donated sevoflurane across its network of hospitals and primary healthcare centers throughout the country, including Hamshari Hospital in Saida, Balsam Hospital in Tyr, Al Nassira Hospital in Bekaa, and Safad Hospital in the North.
Haifa Hospital is another recipient of the donated sevoflurane. Two years ago, Anera rehabilitated the emergency room unit at the hospital, allowing it to upgrade its services and provide additional high quality emergency medical support. The hospital serves communities residing in the Sabra, Shatila and Burj El Barajneh Palestinian refugee camps, as well as the surrounding neighborhoods.
Almost two million refugees across Lebanon depend on charity-based healthcare clinics and hospitals for high-quality healthcare services.
“As pharmacists in a charity-based hospital, we are somewhat used to dealing with medication shortages. But it is the multiple crises that are relatively new — the financial crisis, political unrest and COVID-19."
“Without the support of organizations like Americares and Anera, which has been believing in our work and supporting us since 2006, we would have closed our doors a long time ago.”
— Ibrahim El Ahmad