I'll be hosting an hour yoga class with the theme of 'resilience through compassion'. All funds raised from this charitable class will go to MSF in support of their Paediatric project in Zahle, Lebanon. Read more about this initiative below:
As we all go through these unprecedented times , our priorities are to maintain our regular programmes running for our patients, ramp up our capacity to respond to the COVID-19 pandemic, and ensure both our patients and personnel remain safe and protected at all times.
One of these programmes is Paediatric project, in Zahle, central Bekaa, Lebanon. We have been working in Lebanon since 2006, and have formed different partnerships with the Ministry of Health and several public hospitals to better optimize the delivery of health services.
About the Project
With few health facilities providing paediatric care, MSF has been working in Zahle (West Bekaa) since March 2017 to avail specialized care to vulnerable children of all nationalities- free of charge- in the Elias Hraoui governmental hospital.
The 28-bed ward provides comprehensive inpatient services for children aged between 28 days and 15 years old, and has a Paediatric Intensive Care Unit (PICU) as well as a Thalassemia unit.
PICU services in Lebanon are rare and costly to come by, the majority of them falling under the private health sector. Nationwide there are only 45 beds (6 of which are run by MSF), and only 7 PICU Doctors (of which one is an MSF staff). In this unit, we treat children suffering from a variety of illnesses, ranging from respiratory infections to poisoning.
MSF is the only actor in Lebanon that provides Thalassemia care for free. Thalassemia is a blood disease caused by an alteration in the genes required to synthesize hemoglobin and there is a high prevalence of the disease in the Mediterranean region. Treatment of the disease is costly, and requires regular blood transfusions. The children treated at Elias Hraoui hospital are given blood transfusions and prescribed appropriate medications; our teams take regular blood samples to monitor treatment and also provide training and consultation to parents to better prepare them for treatment.
In 2019 we treated 86 thalassemia patients, and we plan to scale-up our activities and treat 100 children in 2020.
Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) has launched activities in Lebanon to respond to the COVID-19 pandemic, aiming at increasing access to healthcare for vulnerable communities.
“We are concerned that the number of beds currently available in the Bekaa Valley may not be enough if the outbreak takes hold,” says Amaury Gregoire, MSF’s head of mission in Lebanon. “We are preparing our teams to receive cases in our facilities too, in response to the emerging needs of the Lebanese population as well as the Syrian and Palestinian refugees or anyone else in the Valley.”
In Zahle, our teams are supporting the hospital staff by organizing the triage, screening, testing and case management for children. Tents dedicated to the triage zone for children and treatment of non-suspected cases have been set-up outside the premises. The hospital serves as COVID-19 referral hospital, and is ready to admit paediatric patients into the MSF ward.
The thalassemia unit has been moved to a separate area in order to protect thalassemia affected children from getting exposed to COVID-19.
On top of adapting activities in hospitals and hospital services we run, we’ve been in contact with several governmental hospitals to support them with logistic services and medical supplies, and increase their medical capacities through training of their staff members.
This Ramadan campaign is registered in the UAE under permit #2932 by the Islamic Affairs & Charitable Activities Department (IACAD).
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