Training refugee volunteers to improve the health of Syrians in refugee settlements.

Ongoing war in Syria has had a tremendous impact on the entire region, as millions of refugees have fled the country in search of safety. In neighboring Lebanon, more than a quarter of the country’s population is now comprised of Syrian refugees.

We recognized the tremendous strain that the sudden increase in population has had on the health infrastructure in Lebanon so we joined local partner organizations in 2013 to help relieve the burden. We established a country office, based in Zahle, to serve the medical needs of the growing refugee population within the informal settlements of the Bekaa Valley.

Syrian refugees in Lebanon continue to face significant challenges due to their inability to work or move freely throughout the country. As a result, our strategy is to meet families where they are — providing care for those suffering from serious health conditions.

Strained Local Health Services

Host countries like Lebanon try to care for Syrian refugees, but can’t absorb such immense numbers. Your support improves health in informal refugee settlements, relieving pressure on the local health system. To improve health in these areas, we rely on trained Refugee  Outreach Volunteers.

Refugee Volunteers as Health Promoters

Medical Teams provides community health outreach through a network of Refugee Outreach Volunteers in informal settlements in the Bekaa Valley. Refugee Outreach Volunteers teach their neighbors how to stay healthy. They gather community members for informational sessions on common health issues. They check on people with chronic diseases. During a pandemic like COVID-19, they share up-to-date information on how to stay safe and when to seek help. They act as the “eyes and ears” of the community. When someone is sick, refugee volunteers are the ones called to help. The volunteers act as a bridge, connecting sick people to the right medical providers.

Access to health services will continue to be a significant challenge for Syrian refugees in Lebanon. We are committed to building effective and sustainable health systems to address these needs and bring healing to people in crisis.

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