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Palestine Red Crescent Society inaugurates Dr. Fathi Arafat Health and Community Center at Nahr el Bared Refugee Camp

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(Nahr el Bared- 12/1/2012): In cooperation with the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC), PRCS/Lebanon inaugurated an Emergency and Health Center at Nahr el Bared Refugee Camp, with a view to enhancing health services provided to Palestinians in the camp. It is to be noted that the Society used to run a clinic in the camp which was destroyed during the unfortunate events back in 2007.

The inauguration ceremony was attended by PRCS President Dr. Younis Al Khatib as well as by a delegation from ICRC chaired by its Head of Mission in Lebanon Mr. Jürg Montani, the Palestinian Consul Mr. Mahmoud Al Assadi, Head of UNRWA in Lebanon Mr. Salvatore Lombardo, Lebanese MP Mr. Kassem Abdel Aziz, Major Haitham Salman from the Lebanese Military Intelligence, Mr. Youssef Boutros from the Lebanese Red Cross Society and representatives from Palestinian factions, the Popular Committee and camp dwellers.

Dr. Al Khatib said the inauguration of the center provides hope to refugees who have trouble securing treatment and hospital beds for their sick relatives. He hoped that the center will cover part of the camp’s needs, especially that it has been equipped with an EMS section, labs, X-ray facilities, a physiotherapy section and medical clinics, in addition to two rooms with beds which can accommodate patients in emergency cases for up to 24 hours. “The center is a first step that shall be hopefully followed by other measures to provide the camp with a hospital that can cover its needs and is capable of receiving all cases. This health center is modern and equipped with state-of-the-art devices, conference facilities and doctor rooms. It is hence one of the key health centers operating within Palestinian refugee camps”, he added.

Mr. Montani said that cooperation with PRCS towards building this clinic represents everything that ICRC stands for, and is the best example of the humanitarian good that can be achieved through cooperation. “As a member of the International Movement of the Red Cross and Red Crescent, ICRC could not but help PRCS continue to provide health services to Palestinians. We trust that this center shall help improve health care in Nahr el Bared”, he added.

This 550m2 center was completed within 14 months. It shall provide medical services to tens of outpatients on a daily basis and shall comprise a basic operating room, a lab, an x-ray section and four beds. Part of the center can also be used for social functions, including a library, a recovery room and office space.

“Naji el Ali” hospital, which was the unique hospital in Nahr el Bared refugee camp, was totally destroyed together with most clinics operated by Palestinian institutions and factions during the 2007 events. Following the return of displaced populations, a number of clinics were opened by several institutions including PRCS.

Given the need for a hospital in the camp, PRCS, in cooperation with ICRC, lay the foundation stone for this center more than one year ago. The center was then constructed, equipped and manned with the necessary medical team. It shall operate and receive patients around the clock.

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