We know it: the war in Ukraine has taken attention and resources away from the entire Middle East, especially in Lebanon where the situation is disastrous. Grain is scarce, electricity only works for a few hours a day. They say you cannot even escape: there is a lack of paper and ink for passports. In this context, more and more people have to choose whether to eat or take care of themselves. In recent months, we have opened a medical dispensary in Tripoli, and today we decided to give space to the testimony of Gina Fenianos, a nurse at the Holy Land dispensary in El Mina, who told us about a truly dramatic situation.
The words of Gina Fenianos
We have always said that Tripoli is the mother of the poor; but in these days the economic deterioration is increasing, there is a lot of poverty and need and there are many diseases.
Tripoli has always been full of diseases due to the high rates of poverty, but recently the cases have increased dramatically because people are unable to receive medical treatments or buy medicines, especially for children, who suffer from malnutrition. After all, parents are unable to buy milk.
Ignorance and lack of knowledge among people lead to many diseases, in addition to the pollution of the environment and water that fill Tripoli. This poses a threat to the health of people, especially children.
In our dispensary we receive a large number of patients and children with different conditions and we help them as much as possible providing them with medicines at good prices. Their number is increasing as the news about the existence of the dispensary is transmitted from one person to another.
I must repeat that the children that visit sometimes are exhausted by the disease and are not able to buy medicines from pharmacies. They also come to take milk and diapers that we provide for free because most children are not taking milk, especially newborns and toddlers.
The process inside the dispensary
One understands how important this dispensary is and we hope to continue receiving larger numbers of patients: the poor, the elderly, and orphans who have no one to help them and have chronic diseases that need constant treatments.
But the price of this treatment is very high in pharmacies, and the sick have stopped buying them. We hope to continue this humanitarian mission. Medical prices have risen nearly three times, while drug prices have exceeded five and six times. Chronic disease drugs have become difficult to purchase because their prices are exorbitant.
We receive patients according to appointments over the phone, and upon their arrival, they fill out personal files and information about their medical history. The pulse, pressure, and oxygen levels are checked. For diabetic patients, the blood sugar level is checked, then they wait for their turn to see the doctors, who in turn examine the patient and give him the necessary medication prescription.
After that, the patient goes to the nurse again to give him the available medicines at a symbolic price, and the doctor’s visit is for a very symbolic amount. Then patients go back to their homes and we remain available to serve them twenty-four hours a day in case they need anything.
We have two paediatricians three days a week, a general health doctor once a week, a cardiologist two days a week, and a surgeon once a week. We started receiving patients at the beginning of the year 2022 and until now, that is, within six months, we have seen 550 children and 750 adults.
This dispensary is a gate of mercyfor the needy and sick residents of Al-Mina, Tripoli, and even the northern coastal areas.