Medical aid sustains healthcare services for Lebanon’s most vulnerable
International donors are vital for sustaining Lebanon’s healthcare system. Anera works closely with a number of international medical and health donors in order to supply its local network of charities and health centers with the necessary support needed to keep them afloat in the midst of Lebanon’s current socio economic crisis.
Among the international organizations that regularly support Lebanon through Anera, International Health Partners (IHP) has proven to be one of the largest donors. IHP is a UK-based international health non-profit supporting vulnerable communities through medical donations. IHP is a major supporter of Anera’s humanitarian medical aid program, sending seven shipments of medical aid to Lebanon just since March 2020.
Its recent medical donations, with shipments donated by Airlink, are helping to address major shortfalls in the Lebanese health sector and benefit numerous local partners and the communities they serve, including vulnerable Muslim, Christian and Armenian-Lebanese populations, as well as Syrian and Palestinian refugees.
Jihad Jamaleddine, a pharmacist at Makhzoumi Foundation, says,
“We work to connect subsidized medications from the Ministry of Public Health to patients in need. But with the deteriorating situation, we've faced some shortages in basic medicines like multivitamins, aspirin and paracetamol. Anera has helped us in filling the gaps between needs and availability.”
Abdullah is a 63-year-old Syrian patient at the Makhzoumi Foundation. He says,
“I have been asthmatic for 20 years, but my health has gotten worse after I was exposed to the smoke from burning tires during the protests. I am extremely dependent on my medication. Otherwise the pain becomes unbearable. The Makhzoumi Foundation is the only organization that has supported me recently. I thank Anera for delivering the medicines and for providing assistance to all.”
In order to maximize the impact of medical aid, Anera works diligently to ensure that donations are distributed equitably to all communities across a broad range of religious denominations and nationalities. Most recently, we distributed IHP-donated medicines and medical supplies to the Makhzoumi Foundation, Greek Catholic Charitable Association, Haifa Hospital, Rafiq Hariri University Hospital, Saint George Hospital, Makassed Hospital and Dar Al-Ajaza Al-Islamia Hospital.
Dr. Muhammad Hasbini, the chief medical officer at Makassed Hospital, says,
“Makassed’s history is intertwined with Beirut. It’s been operating for over 100 years, offering integral services to people in need. We rely on organizations like Anera to help us sustain our hospital and our treatment of children, coronavirus patients and emergency cases.”
He says the medicines donated by IHP have been “superb.”
“We were able to make use of the supplies mainly for the emergency department and follow-up appointments for victims of the port explosion.”
IHP’s medical donations respond to the field research reports and needs assessments written by Anera’s medical donations team. Since the Beirut blast, IHP has donated sizable shipments filled with medical supplies to Lebanon. The most recent donations included three shipments that contain a wide array of supplies urgently needed in Lebanon.
The country is facing a major shortage of medical supplies, and there are certain supplies that are more scarce than others, or more costly in the Lebanese market. Anera research assessments determined that syringes, wound care material, antibiotics and expensive medication were scarce. And IHP filled those needs.
“I won’t be redundant — we all know about the worsening crisis in Lebanon. But I must thank Anera on behalf of the hospital and on behalf of all the patients we were able to help together.”
Thanks to the medical aid IHP donated, Anera has been able to ensure medicines reach both Lebanese patients from different backgrounds and Syrian and Palestinian refugees living in and outside of Beirut’s refugee camps.
Dr. Ibrahim al-Ahmad is the head of the pharmacy department at Haifa Hospital in the Burj Al Barajneh Palestinian Refugee Camp. He says, “Although we function as part of the network of the Lebanese branch of the Palestine Red Crescent Society, we still face difficulties acquiring medical supplies and equipment — some things are simply unavailable in the market.”