Providing medical care for refugees and other vulnerable groups

A young girl is vaccinated against mes measles and polio as part of a five day campaign targeting children of all nationalities residing in the Palestinian refugee camp of Shatila and adjacent neighborhood in south Beirut, Lebanon.
LEBANON 2018 © Mario Fawaz/MSF
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This information is excerpted from MSF’s 2016 International Activity Report.

More than 1.5 million Syrians have fled to Lebanon since the conflict began in 2011, a massive influx that has further strained the country’s health services. Since 2011, Doctors Without Borders/Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) has expanded its medical response to provide emergency assistance to Syrian refugees (regardless of registration status), Palestinian Syrians, and other Palestinian refugees, as well as Lebanese returnees and other vulnerable groups.

MSF worked in the north of Lebanon, the Bekaa valley, south Beirut, and Saida, offering free, high-quality primary health care, including treatment for acute and chronic diseases, reproductive services, mental health support, and health promotion activities. Teams also ran three mother and child health centers across the country. In 2016, MSF carried out 359,377 outpatient consultations, 7,265 mental health sessions, and assisted nearly 6,300 births, including 2,400 Caesarean sections.

Since September 2013, MSF has managed a primary health care center and a mother and child health center in Shatila refugee camp, where over 30,000 refugees live in deplorable conditions just outside the Beirut city center. In Burj al-Barajneh refugee camp, MSF opened a health center providing sexual and reproductive health services, mental health care, and health promotion activities. In May, the team launched a home-based care program for patients with chronic diseases who suffer from mobility problems.

In the Bekaa Valley, where the majority of refugees have settled, MSF provided primary health care through four clinics for Syrian refugees and the local community. In December, MSF opened a chronic diseases care center in Bar Elias. MSF ran five primary health care centers in Akkar and Tripoli governorates for Syrian refugees and vulnerable Lebanese. In February, MSF started to work in Wadi Khaled and Akroum. A team continued to offer primary health care in Ein-el-Hilweh camp, the largest Palestinian refugee camp in Lebanon with around 100,000 Palestinians, Palestinian refugees from Syria, and Syrian refugees.