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Mobile medical care for refugees and locals

Syrian and Iraqi refugees in Lebanon are scattered all over the country, and their presence has not only overstretched local capacities and infrastructure but also negatively affected the living conditions of local communities. Both refugees and locals often struggle to meet their basic needs. Malteser International and its partner, the Lebanese Association of the Order of Malta, are providing primary health care services through a mobile clinic in the province of Akkar. The project gives both Syrian refugees as well as vulnerable Lebanese people access to free medical treatment and drugs, and allows them to be referred, if necessary, to health centers and hospitals for secondary care.

Syrian refugees – the majority of whom are women and children – have sought shelter in empty buildings, construction sites or tents all over Lebanon. The living conditions of the refugees are deteriorating continuously; in total 70 % of them live below the poverty line. The number of poor people in Lebanon has risen by nearly two-thirds since 2011, and unemployment has doubled: meaning that vulnerable Lebanese people face similar problems to the refugees, struggling to meet their basic needs. The poor living conditions of the refugees is having a direct negative impact on their health, but as their financial resources are dwindling, they are often unable to afford health care. Their presence itself is a strain on an already fragile public health care system and the Lebanon’s capacity to provide appropriate health services is severely overstretched. According to an UNHCR study, approximately 20 % of the Syrian refugees in need of a hospitalization cannot be admitted.

That is why, Malteser International and its partner organization, the Lebanese Association of the Order of Malta, have been providing primary health care services through a mobile clinic in the province of Akkar since September 2014. Both Syrian refugees as well as vulnerable Lebanese people have access to free medical treatment and drugs and can be referred, if necessary, to health centers and hospitals for secondary health care.

The goal of the project is to improve the health of Syrian refugees and vulnerable Lebanese people living in scattered and remote areas of the province of Akkar in North Lebanon by improving their access to primary and secondary health care services, as well as by strengthening preventive health capacities among the population.

  • Operating a mobile medical unit to provide around 1.200 medical services per month.
  • Referral of more than 150 patients per month to the Primary Health Care Center or hospital for further examinations and secondary treatment.
  • Strengthening of the preventive health capacities of the population through health and hygiene awareness activities.

Country info

Capital: Beirut
Area: 10,452 km2
Population: c. 5.8 Million

Project data

Project duration: since March 2016 until October 2016 
Donors: ADH - Germany's Relief Coalition, German Federal Foreign Office, private donations
Partner: Lebanese Association of the Sovereign Order of Malta

Last updated: January 2016

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