“Every item counts... syringes, masks, gloves and gauze — all of it."
When the coronavirus first hit in late February 2020, Lebanon had already been drowning in financial and political disasters. The pandemic only further suffocated the country, as well as introducing a nationwide public health crisis.
To add fuel to the fire, an explosion erupted in the port of Beirut in August 2020, further paralyzing the country, and again, overwhelming the health sector. The blast damaged a number of Beirut’s hospitals and destroyed or damaged a lot of medical supplies and equipment, leaving long-lasting negative effects on the hospital system.
One hospital badly damaged is the historic Lebanese Hospital Geitaoui in the Ashrafieh neighborhood of Beirut, a space that usually offers reassurance, safety and health. Because it is close to the port, much of the hospital was reduced to rubble during the explosion.
“After the Beirut blast, our institution was terribly damaged and we had to evacuate,” says Aline Farah, head of procurement at Geitaoui. “We immediately turned to restoring our facilities, repurchasing equipment and biomedical spare parts. We also had to recruit more medical staff.”
Since COVID-19 strikes the respiratory system, treatment depends on ventilation systems and other related medical equipment. There is scarcity of these kinds of supplies in Lebanese hospitals. To relieve hospitals of this deficit, Anera organized a medical donation of tracheal tubes, syringes and IV catheters – all vital for treating patients that require mechanical ventilation. MedWish, a medical donations non-profit, generously donated the supplies.
MedWish's recent donation to Lebanon includes a long list of items like walkers, ultrasound machines, syringes, surgical caps, masks, gloves, shoe covers, test tubes, oxygen concentrators, nebulizer machines, menstrual pads, lab coats, alcohol, insulin syringes, an infant ventilator, hospital beds, hand soap, gurneys, gowns, goggles, face shields, exam tables, and electric wheelchairs.
Anera used part of the donation to help Geitaoui Hospital, which reaches a substantial number of children and adults. The supplies are helping in the COVID-19 ward, as well as for surgeries and out-patient treatment.
“Every item counts...syringes, masks, gloves and gauze all of it,” says Aline Farah, head of procurement at Geitaoui.
“We need to protect both our patients and staff. PPE and especially examination gloves have become unaffordable.
"We want to thank you all for your support and the donations, as it helps us meet our high consumption rates. Our mission is to serve all of our patients, and the donation we received from Anera and MedWish was a huge support to continue what we do.”