Anera and Americares Collaborate to Provide Critical Diabetes Medicines to Lebanon’s Most Vulnerable
Lebanon's financial collapse in 2019 has had profound repercussions for healthcare in the country. The prices of essential medications skyrocketed when the government removed subsidies.
The high cost of medications has made them inaccessible for most patients, especially those from vulnerable communities. Many have to choose between buying food or medicine.
The situation endangers the health of patients living with chronic conditions like diabetes.
In coordination with Americares, Anera has been working to deliver priority medicines to help mitigate the medical shortages and support Lebanese hospitals and community health centers. Among the beneficiaries is the Tofahta Medical Center in the south of Lebanon.
The most recent Americares shipment delivered by Anera includes medications for diabetes will provide several months treatment for hundreds of vulnerable patients. Anera distributed the medicines to health centers in Lebanon to benefit residents of all nationalities.
Abbas Alaadine, a cardiologist and vascular surgeon at Tofahta, explains how his institution, like many others, was impacted by the economic collapse.
"Initially, the center struggled to adapt to the situation, particularly during the energy, water, and medicine shortages. The scarcest medicines are those for chronic diseases. Patients struggle to cover the rising prices of medications. Sometimes particular medicines even become completely unavailable."
"The situation gradually has improved with the delivery of assistance, particularly these critical medicines and medical supplies. Anera is one of our center's most prominent supporters," says Alaadine.
The shipment contains four medications to treat Type 2 diabetes, including canagliflozin and sitagliptin. These newer-generation hypoglycemic drugs stabilize blood glucose levels. Unlike older medications, they do not cause a dangerous drop in blood sugar, known as hypoglycemia. Unfortunately, these medicines are expensive and beyond the reach of most Lebanese, especially since the recent economic depression began.
Supporting the most vulnerable patients in the current political climate is no easy task. It requires strong partnerships and committed donors. That is why Anera joined the Partnership for Quality Medical Donations (PQMD), a unique alliance of nonprofit and corporate organizations committed to serving Lebanon’s most vulnerable communities. Americares is also a committed partner dedicated to health and development.
"Any health donation helps the patient both financially and psychologically. This shipment has benefitted hundreds of people at our center, in the region and the surrounding area," explained Dr. Abbas Alaadine of Tofahta Medical Center.
Patients with diabetes are often left untreated and suffer detrimental consequences such as kidney failure, blindness, and amputation of their extremities.
"Since I started getting my medication from the center, I have been stress-free. Honestly, simply providing our medicines has solved so many problems for me. Had it not been for the center's help, I would never have been able to continue treatment because I cannot afford the drugs.” explains Ali, a diabetes patient at the center.
Anera’s longstanding collaboration with Americares has provided lifesaving medicines to those in need in Lebanon’s most vulnerable communities. For Anera, it reconfirms our commitment to protecting health as a fundamental human right.