According to UNHCR, there are 13.5 million Syrian refugees around the world in 2017.
Lebanon is the second hosting country of Syrians displaced persons, with over 1 million registered refugees from Syria, accounting to 20% of the total population.
Lebanese healthcare system, mainly private, cannot meet the on-growing demand for medical services. The majority of Syrian refugees does not have access to medical assistance especially ophthalmology treatments, a sector often neglected by the international humanitarian assistance.
Thus, ARCS operates to promote visual health through the project AYOUNKON: “your eyes”, funded by the Valdesian Evangelic Church targeting Syrian refugees and Lebanese vulnerable persons especially children, youth and elderly people.
During summer 2016, a team of ophthalmologists (Doctor Youssef Abdulmasih and Doctor Sylvain El-Khoury) from the Beirut Eye and ENT Specialist Hospital started to offer free eye screenings to refugees in the Western Bekaa valley.
AYOUNKON project takes it forward aiming at reach:
- 400 free eye exams for persons with severe visual disturbances
- The distribution of 100 pair of spectacles for the correction of severe refraction defects
- 40 eye-saving surgeries for patients with severe ophthalmic diseases
The project is supported by
- Amel International, a Lebanese NGO that provides the team with an equipped ophthalmologic room in its Primary Health Center of Kamed el Loz (Bekaa valley) and it is in charge of beneficiaries outreach
- Beirut Eye and ENT Specialist Hospital, a specialised hospital, that agreed to offer low-cost surgeries with no profit purposes
This intervention is essential to improve visual health among vulnerable people in the Bekaa valley but also to significantly ameliorate their living conditions with trickle down effects on their economic and social life.
You could play an essential role helping us to bring forward these fundamental activities.