Malteser International donates €50,000 to Libyan medical centre near
In view of the increasing number of Syrian families fleeing to Lebanon, Malteser International, the relief service of the Order of Malta for humanitarian aid, has donated €50,000 to a medical centre near Tripoli to fund basic healthcare for Syrian refugees.
The medical centre of the Lebanese Association of the Order of Malta in Kahldieh - about 40 kilometres from Tripoli - provides basic healthcare for the region of Zgharta. The centre, which is run by the Antonine Sisters, presently cares for more than 500 Syrian refugees, including 200 children, 300 adult women and men and about 30 elderly people.
Many of the refugees, especially the children, have fever or suffer from diarrhoeal diseases. Women visit the centre for prenatal and postnatal care and bring their children for vaccinations.
"The war in Syria forces women, children and men to cross the borders. In Lebanon, they receive medical treatment. Many of them also need psychosocial assistance as they are traumatised," said Ingo Radtke, Secretary General of Malteser International.
Last year, about 35,000 patients received 42,000 medical treatments at the centre. For several months already, a continuously increasing number of Syrian patients - at present 80 to 100 per day - have been visiting the medical centre too.
The medical staff of the centre is supported by doctors who volunteer to perform surgical procedures on the refugees. Whereas treatment normally costs up to USD $5, the refugees are treated free of charge. For further laboratory investigations or inpatient treatments, the refugees have to be referred to the hospital in Zgharta. There, all costs are borne by the refugees.
Refugees do not have the necessary financial means to pay for medical treatment or hospitalisation. Therefore, the medical centre in Khaldieh tries to help them with limited means, for example by reducing the cost of medicine. However, it becomes difficult in the case of services provided by third parties, such as laboratory investigations.
For six weeks already, Malteser International has also been supporting internally displaced persons in Syria's capital, Damascus. 1,200 families who have fled to the capital receive startup and hygiene kits containing blankets, kitchen utensils, soap and diapers. The relief goods are distributed by Malteser International's long-time partner organisation "International Blue Crescent"; the emergency response in Damascus is funded by the German Federal Foreign Office.
According to the latest estimates, there are more than 1.5 million internally displaced persons in Syria. According to UNHCR, more than 155,000 Syrian people, nearly 75% of whom are women and children, have fled to the neighbouring countries of Iraq, Turkey, Jordan and Lebanon since April 2012.
In addition, there is likely to be a similar number of Syrian refugees who have not yet been registered officially. The majority of the Syrian refugees found accommodation with relatives or friends in private houses in the poorer regions of the country near the border. Others have taken refuge in schools and other public buildings.