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Date: 03/11/2023
Source: MoPH
Collaboration between the MoPH, UNICEF and Korea to Support Life-Saving Care for Newborns
The Ministry of Public Health partners with UNICEF and the Republic of Korea to sustain Lifesaving Support for Mothers and Children in Lebanon
The Ministry of Public Health (MoPH) launched the expansion of its intervention to deliver lifesaving care to newborns across governmental hospitals. In partnership with UNICEF through funding from the Korean government, the intervention aims to remove financial obstacles that hindered vulnerable newborns and children’s access to hospitalizations in the neonatal and pediatric intensive care units.  
The partnership will also support public hospitals by providing them with lifesaving commodities and supplies to ensure the continuous delivery of essential healthcare services. The contribution will also cover out-of-pocket expense for lifesaving hospitalizations in NICUs and PICUs, in selected governmental hospitals, namely Rafic Hariri University Hospital, Karantina University Hospital, Orange Nassau Governmental Hospital, Nabatieh Governmental Hospital, Tripoli Governmental University Hospital, Halba Governmental Hospital and Baalbeck Governmental Hospital. Vulnerable families will be identified through a social vulnerability assessment tool administered by trained social workers and 150 admissions will be therefore covered.
“In the midst of a financial crisis that has engulfed our nation; the importance of this project cannot be overstated. It is a beacon of hope, signalling that no challenge is too great when it comes to the health and welfare of our children. This initiative stands as a testament to the unyielding spirit of global solidarity, embodied by the generous support of the Republic of South Korea and the unwavering dedication of UNICEF”, said H.E Dr. Firass Abiad Minister of Public Health.
Dr. Abiad added that “we are reminded of the sanctity of human life, a principle that takes on an even greater significance in light of the heart-wrenching atrocities committed against the young in places like Gaza. These acts of violence against children shock the conscience of humanity and reinforce our commitment to protecting life at its most vulnerable stage.
The minister emphasized on the importance of Public hospitals in Lebanon saying that: “they are more than just healthcare facilities; they are pillars of resilience, providing critical care amidst resource constraints. The professionals within these institutions exemplify dedication and service, ensuring that quality healthcare is not a privilege but a right accessible to all”.
Dr. Abiad stated that “as we look to the future, let us embrace the ethos that every child’s life is precious. Through this project, we are not only safeguarding our children’s health but also nurturing the next generation, fostering an environment where they can thrive, regardless of the economic tides”.
In closing, Minister Abiad extend his deepest gratitude to the Republic of South Korea, to UNICEF, to the donor community, and to all those involved in this life-saving project, saying: “Together, we are crafting a legacy of hope, care, and unwavering commitment to human life”.
New funding from the Republic of Korea will also ensure the availability of essential pediatric acute medications in primary healthcare centres to avoid any supply rupture and allow timely access to acute treatments for children and mothers.  
“With this year’s contribution, we will continue to support primary and secondary healthcare system so as to ease the burden on Lebanon’s health sector and to strengthen access to healthcare for high-risk children and for vulnerable families,” said H.E. Mr IL Park, Korean Ambassador to Lebanon.
“UNICEF is committed to address critical gaps in healthcare access and sustain its lifesaving support for mothers and children in Lebanon,” said Edouard Beigbeder, UNICEF Representative in Lebanon. “Through the sustained generous support from the Republic of Korea, we are able to expand efforts to reach more vulnerable regions and additional hospitals especially in Baalbek and Akkar”.
Last year’s support from the Republic of Korea covered the hospitalization of 124 admissions for 118 patients under the age of five in five selected governmental hospitals. Additionally, UNICEF had procured lifesaving medications such as antibiotics, anti-inflammatories, medical supplies, and chemotherapeutic medication to ensure the continuity and quality of care delivered to the most vulnerable children in Lebanon.
Beyond this intervention, the Republic of Korea has reaffirmed its commitment to UNICEF activities in Lebanon by contributing US$ 1,900,000 in 2023. This includes support to selected governmental hospitals through lifesaving hospitalization for the most vulnerable, procurement and supply of paediatric acute mediation and medical supplies to ensure continuous service delivery and critical and urgent WASH improvements across 25 primary health care facilities to prepare them to better respond to emergencies.
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