Mobile Medical Unit – Order of Malta, Khaldieh Region in Lebanon

The Order of Malta has been in Lebanon since 1957, and has been constantly expanding their projects since the war by setting up medical centres in all areas of Lebanon with a focus on providing help in the poorest of areas that are often forgotten. The Order of Malta has always taken care of all people, no matter their race, gender or religious beliefs.

The Lebanese Association of the Order of Malta has since expanded continuously to be able to respond to all of the difficult situations that have continued to arise in Lebanon. Today, they manage 30 different centres which carry out 200’000 medical or social services helping more than 50’000 people each year. They focus mainly on providing for sick people, the elderly, handicapped people, refugees and children born into poverty.

The Mobile Medical Units are one of their most impactful projects. They started with 2 Mobile Medical Units that they used to help people in South Lebanon after the war against Israel in 2006 which left the whole region devastated and a large part of the population near the border without any access to healthcare or services. The next 3 Mobile Medical Units were introduced after the war in Syria which brought with it an important increase in number of refugees who were left without support or health services. The health system in Lebanon was already at maximum capacity before the arrival of these refugees which is why the Order of Malta stepped in to offer health services to the most remote corners of Lebanon.

The north of Lebanon is one of the poorest areas, especially the area close to the border with Syria. In 2018, there was a population of 1.164 million in this region of which 530 thousand were living in poverty, with 341 thousand Lebanese, 140 thousand Syrian refugees and 51 thousand Palestinians. The Mobile Medical Units were set up to help these people by providing health services to everyone, no matter their nationality or religion.

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Mobile Medical Unit – Order of Malta, Khaldieh Region in Lebanon

Website
http://orderofmaltalebanon.org/
  • Patients waiting in line to be visited
  • Patient Visit inside the Mobile Medical Unit
  • New Mobile Medical Unit ready to start helping people in Khaldieh
  • New Mobile Medical Unit
  • Staff car to transport Doctors, Nurses, Medical Assistants and the Project Manager
  • Mothers waiting with their children to be visited by the Mobile Medical Unit

History

Lebanon has often been a collateral victim of the various regional conflicts unleashed in the Middle East due to its geographical position. With a population of 4.3 million people and 18 different religious communities, the country is currently housing an extra 1.5 million refugees making up an added 35% of their population. Since 2019, there has been a major economic crisis and the government and local institutions find themselves unable to meet the basic needs of their people as well as the needs of the refugee population. The World Bank has already warned that the number of people living below the poverty line, about “a third” of the population in 2018, will increase to “50%” by 2020.

Due to the Covid-19 pandemic the situation in Lebanon is deteriorating at an astounding fast pace. One of the most affected sectors is that of health, especially in the most vulnerable localities living in extreme poverty, such as the region of North Lebanon. This is why the Order of Malta Lebanon has been trying to cover the missing services to ensure a better access to healthcare for the most vulnerable people.

Mission

The Order of Malta Lebanon aims to improve the health of refugees and vulnerable Lebanese people of all faiths, who live in isolated areas of the city of Tripoli and the suburbs surrounding it by giving them access to primary and secondary health care services and by strengthening the preventive health capabilities of the population, especially by educating the people about safe hygiene practices.

The medical teams that run these mobile medical units provide check-ups, consultations and medication as well as the possibility of referring people to more specialized facilities when necessary for further testing or hospitalization. All of their health services are offered for free including hospitalization costs when patients are referred by the Order of Malta doctors.

Each Mobile Medical Unit is a 30-seat bus converted into a consultation room, with an extra vehicle, a medical team (doctors, nurse, social worker) and a support team (project manager, financial director, drivers, administrative secretary, field coordinator). Every morning the Mobile Medical Units leave the hub and cover several areas, according to a weekly route.

The Project supported by the Caritas Pro Vitae Gradu Charitable Trust

Thanks to our support, the Order of Malta Lebanon has been able to acquire and transform another bus into a 6th Mobile Medical Unit in 2020 to help cover the Khaldieh region close to Tripoli and offer health care services to more people dealing with poverty and a lack of access to healthcare be it refugees or Lebanese people. This extra Mobile Medical Unit has since been working hard to also fight the current COVID-19 pandemic in Lebanon.

The project and its operational expenses will be fully supported by Caritas Pro Vitae Gradu for the next 3 years.