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Gala dinner to raise cash for Lebanon

posted on 31/10/2006: 1623 views

The firsthand challenges facing health care in Lebanon are to be shared by a visiting doctor in Dubai on Saturday as part of the "Medicine for Lebanon Campaign”. Dubiotech has invited Dr Nadim Cortas, vice president for medical affairs at the American University of Beirut to speak at a gala dinner that is being held to raise funds for the war-torn country that is still recovering from Israel's armed aggression.

"The UAE is in a unique situation to help Lebanon, a country whose people have helped in building our country before. Ours [UAE] is an open country for import and export, so we can gather the necessary supplies that they cannot acquire there and send them,” said Dr Abdulqader Al Khayat, executive director of Dubiotech – Dubai's free zone dedicated to biotechnology, pharmtech and research.

Funds will be raised at the gala dinner through ticket purchase and voluntary donations. Individual tickets will be sold for Dh300 while companies can book tables at the event for Dh10,000 – all proceeds of which will go to the purchase of necessary medical supplies for Lebanon.

On October 24, all international emergency humanitarian operations in Lebanon officially ended. But the World Health Organisation (WHO) has urged international agencies to continue to focus on early recovery, by providing assistance with food, medical supplies, water and non-food items and services, where needed. The Medicine for Lebanon Campaign, which has already raised Dh2m so far, aims to fill that gap with the help of UAE residents.

The money raised will buy basic health and personal care items for babies such as diapers, baby formula, thermometers, toothbrushes, hygienic pads, body soap for adults, pain killers, heart medicine, antibiotics and tranquillisers among the general medical items on a list received from the Lebanese Red Cross Youth Department.

Indiscriminate Israeli bombing reportedly had a major impact on health care infrastructure in Lebanon, including the total destruction of the primary health centre in Marjayoun, Bent Jbeil and Sour – a special report from the WHO and the Lebanese Ministry of Public Health stated in August.

Residents have since faced difficulty in reaching health centres, with 35 per cent no longer accessible by roads due to the damage. Hospitals were also damaged and some are still without basic amenities such as water and electricity.

A damaged sewerage supply system in Bent Jbeil has further imperilled public health in the town. (Emirates Today)


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