(PORTLAND, ORE., April 1, 2013) – Medical Teams International (MTI) is responding to the Syrian refugee crisis by mobilizing teams of medical volunteers and supplies to provide care to Syrians living in refugee settlements in Lebanon’s Bekaa Valley.
Civil war inside Syria has caused more than 70,000 deaths. The United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) estimates that approximately 6,000 - 8,000 Syrians are crossing into Lebanon every day seeking refuge from the war and violence. Access to health care is almost non-existent for the majority of the refugees. Many are now suffering from respiratory infections, diarrhea and skin diseases.
The Lebanese government, local and international agencies are overwhelmed by the refugee influx and have exerted intense pressure on all social sectors of the country since the crisis began. “While everyone is working to provide food, shelter, and sanitation in the refugee settlements, there are huge gaps in healthcare. Medical Teams International must get involved to help fill some of these gaps,” says Joe DiCarlo, Director of Regional Programs. “Working with partners in the same refugee settlements where MTI is working allows us to provide a full package of relief services to the refugees – food distribution, shelter and medical services.”
MTI will partner with Heart for Lebanon, MedAir, and humedica to provide this comprehensive package of services to the refugee communities.
Medical Teams International will deploy medical volunteers in the coming weeks. To address what is perceived to be a long-term refugee crisis, the organization is also prepared to implement a community-based health program to prevent disease and illness.
Medical Teams International is seeking funds to support this relief effort. For more information or to donate, go to www.medicalteams.org.