Country/Region

Meet some of the more than 120,000 Syrian refugees living in the Bekaa Valley in Lebanon while their country is at war. Families are living in camps, unfinished houses, and abandoned buildings; most are not getting adequate aid.

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The conflict in Syria has forced hundreds of thousands of people to flee their country for neighboring Lebanon. According to a Doctors Without Borders/Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) study conducted in May 2012, over half of the refugees are living in unsanitary conditions with no access to desperately needed medical care. MSF teams working in Tripoli and the Bekaa Valley are providing refugees with free health care and distributing supplies, but the medical facilities are often overwhelmed. MSF continues to ramp up its activities in the country.

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The February 2013 Month In Focus features brief reports on the following Doctors Without Borders/Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) activities: aid imbalances in Syria; assistance for Syrian refugees in Lebanon; tending to victims of the conflict in Mali; measles epidemic in northeastern regions of the Democratic Republic of Congo; battling sleeping sickness in South Sudan; and improving access to healthcare in Afghanistan.

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Reports from MSF projects in DRC, Chechnya, Lebanon, and Malawi.

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MSF set up a mental health care program in the Burj al Barajneh camp on the outskirts of Beirut, Lebanon’s capital, in December 2008. Most of the Palestinian refugee families living here arrived more than 60 years ago, but their mobility has been proscribed and they have struggled to contend with overcrowding, poverty, unemployment, and war. In two years, MSF teams in the project have counseled more than 1,000 patients.

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Since April 2012, Doctors Without Borders/Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) has managed a chronic disease treatment program in Lebanon to meet the desperate needs of Syrian patients who no longer have access to treatment.
 
"Nearly 90 percent of our patients arrive with prior diagnoses of chronic disease—typically hypertension and diabetes," says Dr. Wael Harb, MSF supervisory doctor in the Bekaa Valley. "The condition worsens quickly if they haven't received treatment for weeks."
 
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