The representative of the World Health Organization (WHO) in Lebanon, Dr Abdinasir Abubakar, visited both of Amel Association International PHCC centers in Beirut, in order to get a better understanding of the humanitarian programs implemented by the association to meet the needs of thousands of people in several regions. He was received by Dr. Kamel Mohanna, Founding President of Amel Association International, Dr. Zeina Mohanna, member of the Administrative and Executive Board, Dr. Ali Ghassani, head of the Medical research center, Mohammad Al-Zayed, Health coordinator, and the association’s team.
The visit began with the Dr. Ghazi Beydoun Health – Development Center in Bourj Al-Barajneh, which has been implementing for forty years health and social programs dedicated to the people of the region. The center, which works in cooperation with the Ministry of Public Health, local and international partners, includes various medical specialties, laboratory tests, a mental health section, as well as social and health awareness. Dr. Abubakar spoke with the center’s team about their daily challenges, their commitment, and the support that can be given to the population despite the harsh conditions that Lebanon is going through.
The Health coordinator Mohammad Al-Zayed set out the conditions and needs of the Bourj Al-Barajneh area, which hosts Lebanese, Syrian and Palestinian refugees and migrants, stressing that the programs undertaken by the center, in partnership with other organizations, work on the principle of dignity, human rights and non-discrimination. He also pointed out that Amel’s centers played a major role during the outbreak of the Covid-19 pandemic in spreading awareness, protecting society from community outbreaks, and treating the infected through home-based care teams.
The delegation then visited Amel Health-Development Center in Ashrafieh, which was inaugurated in 2021 in response to the explosion of Beirut Port and the deterioration of the economic situation. The opening of this center is thus part of the emergency plan implemented by Amel, in response to the needs of the region and in solidarity with the people affected, especially in the Karm al-Zaytoun area, which is a highly marginalized.
The Ashrafieh Center team explained the work and the programs conducted in collaboration with local and international partners, including health care (medical consultations, laboratory tests) and development activities aimed at empowering people, in addition to fighting gender-based violence and support for migrant workers – not to mention free vaccination campaigns and other services.
Dr. Mohanna welcomed Dr. Abubakar, stating that the right to health for all should be a plan and not only a slogan. He stressed that, as a non-sectarian civil association, Amel will continue to struggle for people’s dignity, in order to build a State of social justice, no matter how severe the circumstances. Today, in response to the multi-dimensional crisis, Amel is able to participate effectively at the field level, thanks to its 30 development health centers and 6 mobile clinics, which strengthen its health and emergency programs in marginalized areas. The association can also count on 1,400 full-time workers and volunteers, working with dedication and commitment, in an effort to consolidate Amel as a model to build a State of citizenship and justice.
Mohanna also stated: “The response plan launched by Amel to respond to the damage caused by the Beirut Port explosion, embodies in practice the concept of citizenship and working according to people’s needs and not according to sectarian or regional distribution, as it included the allocation of a mobile clinic in Mar Mikhael, and another for the elderly in Ashrafieh, in addition to the launch of development health centers in Ashrafieh, Bourj Hammoud, Ramel El-Zarif, Al-Arqoub, and a third center in Ain El-Remmaneh, with the interest of the most marginalized groups”.Mohanna concluded that the partnership between Amel and the World Health Organization, fighting together for a common goal, is a model for effective equal partnerships that contribute to improving people’s lives and providing their rights.
For his part, Dr. Abu Bakar praised Amel’s humanitarian approach, and the efforts made in solidarity with the people. He returned in particular to the programs linked to the Right to health for all, which strive to maintain a high quality of care thanks to the best medical equipment and the best workers committed to ensuring people’s dignity. Amel is at the forefront of organizations that set an example for work in the field of health, and its experience must be recognized locally and globally.