Project Stories:

Keeping an eye on critical cases

Special Case Officer takes care of quick response to emergencies

by LKO, 2016/12/15

When talking about the refugee crisis in the Lebanon, it seems no longer fit to call it a “crisis”. The Duden (German Dictionary) defines a crisis as „a peak of a dangerous development”, but this description no longer applies if viewed from the outside. For the majority of the refugees live now for several years in the provisory camps near the Syrian border; the situation and its accompanying alarming circumstances have already consolidated.

The inhabitants of the refugee camps would oppose resolutely this somewhat cynical attempt at a definition and justifiably so. Their everyday life is characterised by a poor supply situation, adverse conditions in general and a complete lack of future prospects. Theirs is life in a humanitarian emergency situation, it is life in a crisis.

During their daily working visits in the different camps around the town Zahlé, the medical humedica teams time and again come face to face with human fates, which would have no chance for a positive outcome without assistance from outside. If these people need help beyond the regular medical treatment, humedica Special Case Officer David is there to assist them in medical emergencies.

Lebanese-born longstanding humedica employee David knows the Lebanese health care system well and is aware of the best places to transfer the various medical emergency cases in order to get them the best possible treatment. So besides the thousands of humedica patients, who receive regular health care in the camps, about 30 persons get access to special medical treatment each month thanks to the work of the Special Case Officers.

If the humedica practitioners come face to face with medical emergencies, which require immediate action, they contact Special Case Officer David. Photo: Christoph Jorda

Like two year old Ghadir. When her mother brought the little refugee girl to the humedica physicians, she suffered already for quite some time from cramps and sudden fainting fits. Out of depths with the situation and without the means and the opportunity to bring her to a hospital, one year passed before the parents accompanied Ghadir to the consulting hours in the humedica tent.

The practitioners recognised immediately the need for special treatment and asked David to arrange the transport and an appointment with a neurologist. After various examinations the medical specialist diagnosed epilepsy and prescribed appropriate medication, which enables the girl to lead a normal life today.

David will also keep the small Khaled in his mind. His mother brought the one-year old boy to the humedica physicians because she suspected a common cold. The child was coughing incessantly and had so much trouble breathing that a continued stay in the cold un-insulated refugee tent would have meant a severe risk for his life. David organised immediately a taxi and his admission in the nearest hospital, where Khaled could stay for the next days till he was well again.

Whether he organises a transport to the next specialist clinic, a hospital stay or the supply with vital drugs: his works as Special Case Officer allows David to assist when the help, the medical humedica practitioners can provide during their consulting hours in their tents, is no longer sufficient. Thus he is at least able to relief the people of some worries in emergency cases. Even so it still stays life in a crisis.

Note:humedica runs the medical emergency relief intervention thanks to the support of the Foreign Office of Germany since 2012. The Special Case Aid, financed and realised by humedica since the beginning of 2016, is a part of this operation.

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