Providing medical care for Syrian refugees and other vulnerable groups

A young girl is vaccinated against 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 2017 International Activity Report.

As neighboring conflicts continue to spiral, more than a quarter of Lebanon’s population is now made up of refugees, including over a million from Syria.

This huge influx of people has put an immense strain on the country’s services, such as education, health, housing, water, and electricity.

In 2017, Doctors Without Borders/Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) was present across Lebanon, and continued to provide Syrian refugees and Lebanese communities with free high-quality medical assistance, including primary health care, treatment for acute and chronic diseases, sexual and reproductive health services, mental health support, and health promotion activities. MSF expanded its services to offer secondary and tertiary care with the opening of a pediatric unit in a government hospital in 2017. MSF also ran three mother and child health centers across the country.

Teams carried out around more than 291,000 outpatient consultations and some 11,100 mental health consultations, and assisted almost 5,600 births.

consultations in 2017
mental health

South Beirut

Since September 2013, MSF has been managing a primary health care center and a mother and child health center in Shatila refugee camp, where vulnerable Palestinians, Syrians, Palestinians from Syria, and Lebanese, in addition to other communities of various nationalities, are living in deplorable conditions.

In Burj al-Barajneh refugee camp, MSF runs a health center providing sexual and reproductive health services, mental health support and health promotion activities. MSF also operates a home-based care program for patients with chronic diseases who suffer from mobility problems.

Bekaa Valley

In the Bekaa Valley, where the majority of Syrian refugees have settled, MSF provides primary health care services through four clinics in Hermel, Aarsal, Baalbek, and Majdal Anjar. In addition, teams run two mother and child health centers in Aarsal and Majdal Anjar.

MSF started the rehabilitation of a hospital in Bar Elias in March, and handed over its chronic disease patients in Bar Elias to other health structures in October.

Also in March, MSF opened a pediatric intensive care unit in a government hospital in Zahle, providing secondary and tertiary health care, general pediatrics, and pediatric intensive care, as well as elective surgery.

North Lebanon

MSF runs three primary health care centers in Tripoli and Akkar governorates and a dedicated mental health program in three centers, targeting vulnerable Syrians and Lebanese.

In October 2017, MSF implemented a water and sanitation program in informal tented settlements in a number of villages in Akkar that are not covered by other humanitarian organizations.

South Lebanon

In 2017, MSF’s program in Ein-el-Hilweh Palestinian refugee camp in Saida focused on the most acute unmet needs of the residents. MSF helped medical personnel in the camp to build up their emergency preparedness and response plan so they could stabilize any injured people caught up in violence. The team also launched a new home-based care program for patients who suffer from mobility problems.