Medical volunteers bring relief to Lebanon camps
27 July 2006
International Medical Corps is providing essential medical supplies in and around Tyre, supporting the Hiram Hospital and four Palestinian refugee camps in southern Lebanon. The four camps house approximately 40,000 Palestinian refugees and 30,000 Lebanese who have been displaced since the surge in hostilities earlier this month. All camps are facing supply shortages as 47 bridges connecting Beirut to Southern cities including Tyre and Sidon have been destroyed.
IMC has organized mobile clinics to address the immediate needs of the internally displaced in and around Tyre. Six-person teams consisting of volunteer paediatricians, general physicians, gynaecologists, nurses, and paramedics will support mobile units in each of the four camps.
IMC has supplied Hiram Hospital with medical supplies, equipment, and medications to support the facility for an additional two to three weeks. The hospital has donated both health staff and vehicles to support IMC mobile clinics.
Along the Syria/Lebanon border, IMC has one health programme officer, one Syrian doctor specializing in emergency medicine, and an internal medicine specialist. Medicines are procured locally to treat common, acute and chronic illnesses.
IMC has treated more than 67 people suffering from acute cardiovascular complications, dehydration, mild burns, skin/eye infections, shell injuries, acute psychological illnesses, respiratory infections, insect bites, diarrhoeal diseases, and others.
Health constraints along the Syria/Lebanon border include poor hygiene, physical exhaustion, psychological illnesses such as depression, neurosis, agitation, and abnormal grief reactions, and diarrhoeal diseases.
IMC plans on establishing two additional mobile/static clinics at other refugee entry points and several mobile teams at refugee settlements in Syria. It also will conduct a health survey to identify additional health needs, establish a mobile unit with a gynaecologist who can address the needs of female refugees and conduct psychosocial support programme for refugees and the internally displaced.
To help facilitate all of IMC's operations throughout the region, IMC has set up a small logistical hub based out of Larnaca, Cyprus to oversee and facilitate the dispatch of crucial aid and staff members into Beirut.
IMC rapid needs assessments conducted in southern Lebanon and Syria indicate immediate needs include potable water and food for Palestinian refugees and Lebanese IDPs at four camps in Southern Lebanon, medical supplies and drugs at four hospitals in Tyre, non-food Items, including hygiene kits, clean delivery kits, basic emergency health kits, mattresses, plastic sheets, and kitchen items for host populations, IDPs, and refugees.