The Lebanese Red Cross launched its services in the field of health development in 1945. It established three dispensaries in Beirut to serve the most vulnerable people of the community and in all areas. The Lebanese Red Cross expanded its network of medical and social centers, offering services for the sick and needy in the form of medical consultations, health awareness, prevention programs, vaccination campaigns, school health, and special services for the handicapped.
These centers include specialized staff, social workers and nurses who work in collaboration with specialized doctor volunteers. The centers are provided with necessary medicine according to availability.
The Lebanese Red Cross also provides, through its medical and social centers, many social services that highly contribute to the improvement of the social level of the most vulnerable people in many ways and through many activities and programs that concern women and children.
A central administration supervises the implementation of programs and activities through proper planning, reform, monitoring and evaluation.
First: On the Health Level
a- Medical consultations:
Centers provide medical consultations for the sick, in collaboration with specialized doctor volunteers according to a time schedule posted at medical and social centers and at dispensaries.
b- Primary health care:
o Encouragement of breast feeding
o Water sterilization to prevent diarrhea
o Vaccination against common diseases and disseminating the benefits of balanced nutrition
o Pregnancy care programs
o Physical and psychological baby growth
o Prevention against venomous insects
2. Protection of the mother and child by monitoring the health of the pregnant women during and after pregnancy, and monitoring the health of the newborn and scheduling his/her vaccination.
3. Family planning through periodic gynecologic exams and advice about correct contraceptive methods.
4. Immunization against common diseases for children from ages 1 to 12 (polio, measles, triple vaccine, hepatitis...).
5. School health through medical exams for students (eyes, teeth, parasites, lice, scabies...). Special cases are handled by specialists.
6. Media campaigns stressing prevention, such as early detection of breast and uterine cancer in women, prostate cancer in men, blood pressure, cardiac diseases, diabetes and osteoporosis. Specialized medical exams in centers accompany these campaigns.
c- Knowledge of diseases:
To reduce chronic disease contraction and prevent them, the centers focus on health education and means of prevention against high blood pressure, cardiac diseases, diabetes, liver diseases, AIDS, Thalassemia, and osteoporosis.
d- Specialized consultations:
1. Some medical and social services centers provide specialized medical services, with the help of specialized doctor volunteers in ophthalmology, dermatology, urology, gastroenterology, dental care, neurology, psychiatric, endocrinology, orthopedics, E.N.T. and other specialties, according to local needs.
2. The Society provides a number of special hi-tech health clinics that can detect early signs of serious diseases in women.
e- Mobile clinics:
In order to fulfill the needs of the most vulnerable and needy people of the local community, the medical and social services centers organize periodic medical consultations for the sick in rural areas. Mobile clinics, with a doctor and a health assistant, head from the medical and social centers of each district (Caza) of Lebanon to rural areas.
These clinics provide medical services, such as medical consultations and correct health education. Available medicine is also distributed. The clinics also visit public and private schools in these areas as part of the students’ medical exam program.
f- Central pharmacy:
To provide centers with medicine on a regular basis, it was necessary to establish a central pharmacy that purchases and distributes medicine according to the needs of the medical and social services centers. This pharmacy supervises the purchase, management and distribution of medicine and monitoring and checking of expiry dates. A certified pharmacist is responsible for the pharmacy.
g- School health programs:
School is a convenient environment for the spread of contagious diseases, due to the large number of students in classrooms, as well as epidemic diseases that can only be prevented by vaccination (the program is implemented in public and some private schools). The health programs also aim at avoiding and limiting the risks of health problems that affect the learning capability of students (vision and hearing problems, malnutrition, dental diseases, dermatological diseases…). They include organizing lectures and workshops to spread healthcare awareness among students and parents and helping the school create a healthy environment through subjecting students to medical examinations twice a year by a doctor (or physician), a nurse and a social worker.
Special cases will be assigned to specialized doctors.
h- Health education and prevention programs:
Health education and prevention programs are the cornerstones of the Lebanese Red Cross sanitary work. Social workers spread correct health information and promote healthy habits in nutrition, hygiene, the environment and prevention against common and transmissible diseases. This is achieved through seminars, workshops, brochures and audio-visual tools at the centers and in the local community.
I- Community Based Health and First Aid ( CBHFA):
This social-health program educates, trains and rehabilitates the local community in order to enable it to respond to the problems it may encounter by having it rely on its own abilities and the cooperation of its individuals..
j- Rehabilitation programs for handicapped:
Equipment and treatment:
1. Provide the handicapped with the permanent use tools, such as wheelchairs, crutches, special bags (urine and stool), and catheter.
2. Help in equipping their houses to render them independent and self-reliant in their movement.
3. Provide physiotherapy sessions to the handicapped at home where parents and relatives are trained on essential exercises that the patients should perform on a daily basis.
4. Provide physiotherapy sessions to the handicapped by specialists at certain centers to help them recover.
k- Orthopedic Workshop:
Launched in 1985, the service includes the fitting of orthopedic limbs and splints. Each person who is not registered in the National Social Security Fund (NSSF) and who is not a member of the Employees Cooperative can take advantage of the service after presenting the following: a medical report of the patient's condition and a deposition showing that he is not registered in the NSSF or the Cooperative.
Second: On the Social Level:
The medical-social centers implement programs that have a social-developmental nature and include: reproductive health, family planning, and literacy programs. These centers show a great interest in women and children. For women, the centers organize educational courses for adults, languages and vocational training on productivity occupations. Children meanwhile enjoy their share of the multitude of social services through extracurricular activities carried out by the school and summer clubs and appending school lessons during the academic year and summer activities.
Achrafieh – Mosaytbeh – Tarik El Jdide – Chiah – Jal Eddib - El Bouchrieh – Furn El Chebbak – Antelias – Jounieh – Jbeil – Falougha - Aley – Bokaata – Saida – Zrarieh – Jezzine – Tyre – Alma El Chaab - Bazourieh – Nabatieh – Marjeyoun – Bint Jbeil - Kafra – Rmeich – Aytaroun – Hasbaya – Rachaya – Machghara - Kab Elias – Zahle – Mouallaka – Riyak – Baalbek – Hermel- Tripoli (El Mina) – Tripoli (city) – Halba – Miniara – Becharre – Batroun
Antelias – Bokaata – Jbeil – Rachaya – Baalbek – Hermel – Zahle - Tripoli – Batroun – Halba – Saida – Zahrani – Tyre – Nabatieh – Bint Jbeil
Spears – Marjeoun – Bint Jeil – Jezzine- Hermel