On April 12 th , the first cornerstone of the Douris health centre was laid, gathering all
stakeholders in a ground-breaking ceremony. The project aims to give better access to primary health care in the Baalbek Hermel governorate. Numerous local, national and international actors have expressed themselves including: Mr Houdour (Baalbek-Hermel Governorate Prefect), General Nazir Njeimm (Douris’s Mayor), Mr Ali Moktad (Baalbek’s Member of Parliament), Dr Kamel Mohanna (Amel Association’s President), Mr Alain Mérieux (Foundation Mérieux’s President), Ms Josette Najjar (Foundation Mérieux’s representative in Lebanon), Mr Gilles Tonelli (the Minister of Foreign Affairs and Cooperation of the Prince’s Government of the Principality of Monaco), and Dr Mahmoud Yagi (the Ministry of Health of the Republic of Lebanon’s representative).

According to the Mayor of Douris, the municipality welcomes about ‘4,000 displaced Syrians, geographically spread in the seven informal settlements and few houses’, and find themselves in a precarious sanitary situation. Dr Mohanna estimates that ‘60% of children death are caused by the lack of medical care in the Bekaa lowland’.

The new centre is the result from a solidarity international partnership between the Direction of the International Cooperation of the Prince’s Government of the Principality of Monaco, the Mérieux Foundation (delegated project manager) and Amel Association, in collaboration with the Ministry of Health of the Lebanese Republic. It becomes the 6 th Amel health centre in the region (in addition to those in Al-Ain, Ersaal, Shmestar, Kamed al-Loz and Mashghara), already working to reduce differences and marginalisation in the region and in Lebanon.

This centre aims to respond to precarious situation in which vulnerable people are, by offering medical consultations, access to medical diagnostics, sanitary and social orientation, and advices concerning health by the intermediate of sensitization activities. The implementation of gynaecological, obstetric and paediatric consultations will help to answer the specific needs of women and children, which are often the most vulnerable groups.

This health centre should fix the lack of ‘services’ and the ‘structural weaknesses’ in the region, identified by the Mayor of Douris.

Construction work should begin in June 2018 and the centre should open its doors during the year 2019. Amel will conduct staff recruitment and trainings, as well as oversee the centre’s management. 500 consultations and laboratory tests will take place each month in the centre.

This project congregates the values of every partners participating in this project. Values that could be summed up as answering the philosophy carried by Amel: supply urgent medical care to vulnerable populations, regardless of their nationality, culture, gender, age, religious beliefs or political affiliation, because the wellbeing of our society depends on the health of our populations.