Since the beginning of the Syrian Crisis, 1.5 million people have taken refuge in Lebanon. Most of the refugees have settled in informal camps with difficult living conditions where many cannot have access to health infrastructure due to geographic localization, cost of medical consultations and other factors.
To ensure access to basic healthcare for the refugees in the informal camps and remote villages Amel Association Center, a Lebanese non-governmental organization, set-up the Medical Mobile Unit (MMUs), a special vehicle equipped with all the medical tools. Each unit is composed of a doctor, a nurse, a social worker and a driver.
The first MMU started functioning at the end of 2012 in Bekaa, East Lebanon. In 2014, other units were set up in South Lebanon to reach a bigger part of the population.
In order to encourage vulnerable population/ individuals in a vulnerable situation to seek treatment, the medical mobile unit established a timetable with regular shifts. The contact with vulnerable people enables to identify people suffering from serious illnesses. In this case, Amel’s doctors refer them either to Amel’s centers or to other specialized NGOs.
The general medical consultations and medications are provided for free.
The other mission of these units is to provide awareness sessions about various health and social topics. Topics covered are defined by the medical team according to the needs. For example, if the team observes that people suffer from diarrhea, the awareness sessions will focus on sanitary rules to avoid this phenomenon.
Since 2013, with the support of local communities 222,612 consultations have been realized (19,983 in 2013, 42,953 in 2014, 50,528 in 2015, 50,717 in 2016 and 58,431 in 2017), enabling access to a good healthcare system for people living in camp settings.
Given the successful implementation of the project, new funding was secured to replicate the project in other areas of Lebanon.
Budget: 100 000 $ per unit per year covering, in particular:
- Purchasing the vehicle;
- Equipping the vehicle;
- Purchasing the material and equipment;
- Covering stipends for doctors, nurses, social worker, and driver.
Partners: Agence Française pour le Développement (AFD), MEDICO
Name and title: Dr Kamel Mohanna, President
Telephone: + 961 3 202 270