As we remember refugees today, we continue to focus on helping vulnerable and displaced people get the medical supplies they need. Recently, we’ve been working to get shipments of medicines to Lebanon and Burkina Faso to help those forced to leave their homes behind.

 

This month, we’ve celebrated the arrival of our donated medicines in Lebanon, where we collaborate closely with two on-the-ground partners. The country’s population of six million people includes around 1.7 million refugees mostly from Palestine and Syria; Lebanon’s healthcare and economy were already struggling to cope before Covid-19 escalated. Our partners, who extended their collaboration after attending our Sharing Best Practice Workshop in London last year, are Anera, which supports health services in several refugee camps, and International Medical Corps, which supports a network of 50 healthcare clinics and dispensaries.

On behalf of our partners, we put together a shipment of 42,288 treatments worth more than $180,000, with medicines donated by Pfizer, Johnson & Johnson and others. Medications included antibiotics, treatments for parasitic worms, and medicines for non-communicable diseases such as diabetes, stomach complaints, hypertension and heart disease. These arrived in late May and are now being distributed by our partners, for free, to those in need.

 

In Burkina Faso, we’ve been working with Aviation Sans Frontières and Tearfund Belgium to help internally displaced people in the face of Covid-19. We’ve put together more than 23,000 treatments to help an estimated 7,700 people. These include over-the-counter and prescription medicines including antibiotics, analgesics, anti-inflammatories, anti-fungal and antiparasitics.  

Burkina Faso is ranked among the world’s 25 most vulnerable countries, with activities of armed groups, rising insecurity and violence leading to the displacement of hundreds of thousands of people. A state of emergency was declared in December 2018, and it’s estimated the country has more than 850,000 internally displaced people, plus thousands of refugees from Mali.

Medicines will go to Tearfund Belgium’s in-country partner Association Paam Laafi (APL), which runs a small hospital northeast of the capital, Ouagadougou, and has a mobile medical clinic to support surrounding villages. Displaced people can access free clinical care, with the clinic aiming to mitigate Covid-19 spread by managing underlying conditions and educating people on the virus. “There is great need, and [people] have no work, so they have no money to buy food or to go to the doctor,” an APL doctor told us. “If there is access to treatment, the number of sick will decrease. It will give them hope and the feeling they are being looked after and not forgotten.”

 

For every £1 donated – we estimate an additional £10 will be leveraged in donated medical supplies.

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