In the aftermath of the disaster that hit Beirut two weeks ago, the Lebanese Association of the Order of Malta has been working relentlessly providing free healthcare assistance in the most impacted areas as 12 primary health care centers, 5 major hospitals and the main state drugs warehouse were severely damaged by the explosion. In just over 5 days, thanks to the in Ain el Remmaneh Primary Healthcare center and the deployment of their Mobile Medical Units in the greatly affected areas of Bourj Hammoud and Karantina, the Lebanese association was able to treat some 2.000 patients.
The Order of Malta in Lebanon also opened its centre in Chabrouh as a shelter for families who have lost their homes and who need a safe place to stay, and has developed a mental health and psychosocial support programme at the Ain el Remmaneh centre, offering also telephone consultations.
More than 300 youth volunteers are on the field every day, cleaning houses, providing ready-to-eat food and meals, evaluating damages in certain dedicated areas for refurbishment.
In the meantime, 10 primary healthcare centers, 6 mobile medical units and all other projects of the Order of Malta in the country dedicated to the vulnerable, the sick, the elderly and the differently-abled persons, are still very much active as the crisis deepens all over the country and the needs keep growing by the day.
Several Grand Priories, Associations and relief corps of the Order of Malta are collecting vital donations in favour of the Lebanese Association starting from the Australian and American associations as well as the Grand Priory of Rome, and the British Association and its Foreign Aid Service.
Meanwhile Malteser International is supporting the work of the Lebanese Association’s mobile medical units, it is focusing on restocking medical supplies, strengthening measures against Covid-19 and providing psychosocial support. “Physical wounds have been treated, but the catastrophe and the sudden loss of basic security have done extensive damage to the mental health of people affected,” said Clemens Mirbach, Malteser International’s Country Coordinator for Lebanon. “Many patients have asked sedatives to cope with the trauma experienced”.
There is also growing concern that the recent tragedy may lead to an increase in the already rising number of Covid-19 infections, with over 9.700 confirmed cases in Lebanon.