Rafik Hariri University Hospital: No one left behind

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Beirut – Her Royal Highness The Grand Duchess of Luxembourg paid visit to Rafik Hariri University Hospital this week on a humanitarian visit to learn from the experience of RHUH, ICRC and UNICEF's experiences of treating the mental and physical health of the most vulnerable in Lebanon.

In view of collecting experience for her upcoming international forum "Stand Speak Rise Up" on sexual violence in fragile environments, in March 2019 in Luxembourg, Her Royal Highness met with RHUH and ICRC staff and patients, as well as experts in sexual violence from UNICEF. Built to be the biggest governmental university hospital in Lebanon, the RHUH remains a safety net for vulnerable populations of all nationalities, in addition for it being a referral center for victims of sexual violence and rape. In 2016, the ICRC and RHUH established a long-term partnership, aiming at guaranteeing access to quality care for vulnerable patients, while reinforcing the main infrastructure of the hospital and building capacities of both, ICRC and RHUH staff.

Patients, such as Mohammad, who suffers from multiple bone fractures due to a motorcycle accident, would not normally have access to healthcare. Thanks to the partnership between the ICRC and RHUH, Mohammad has received the proper treatment. ''With help from ICRC, we have made our emergency care more accessible and are restructuring our emergency department to provide better patient service. We are changing the way we provide mother care, making it less invasive and more humane.'' Explained Dr. Abiad, RHUH CEO.

Mrs. Violet Speek-Warnery, UNICEF Lebanon's Deputy Representative and Mrs. Zaman Ali Child Protection Officer at UNICEF Lebanon, were also present to introduce the Grand Duchess to ''the Clinical Management of Rape for Healthcare Workers Mobile Application'', an initiative that will benefit 37 medical facilities throughout the Lebanese territory, and that over 550 frontline health workers will benefit, with the ability to provide lifesaving treatment to survivors of sexual assault and refer them in a timely manner to appropriate services for their protection, empowerment and wellbeing, in accordance with GBV sector standards and principles.

"UNICEF is proud to use innovative tools to ensure the highest standards of care are one click away for health practitioners who help survivors of rape on a daily basis.'' Explained Mrs. Speek-Warnery. ''The partnership with RHUH would have not been possible without the long-term commitment of Avina Stiftung and their will to fund a multi-year project responding to the large medical needs of vulnerable population of all nationalities.'' Explained Mr. Martin, Head of ICRC delegation in Lebanon.

Between 2016 and up until today, through the ICRC and RHUH partnership more than 5000 patients have been financially assisted and guaranteed access to quality health care, 25 rehabilitation project took place in the hospital enhancing safety, ventilation, cooling and sterilization in the hospital. Doctors, residents, nurses, psychologists, engineers and social workers of both institutions work together on a daily basis.