Lebanon (MNN) — A cholera outbreak in Lebanon is hitting Syrian refugees the hardest, with hundreds of cases reported in the camps.
The World Health Organization says the bacteria first appeared in Afghanistan in June and has spread to Pakistan, Iran, Iraq, and Syria. It’s the first appearance of cholera in Lebanon in 30 years.
Heart for Lebanon
In 2018, Heart for Lebanon opened up a ministry in Lebanon’s Bekaa Valley. Part of the building was dedicated to medical care.
Tom Atema says the ministry has now expanded the medical portion, adding a second floor. “On the first floors, as the refugees come in, they will be triaged. We find out what they are there for.”
Upstairs, the ministry operates a full-fledged dental unit with an x-ray machine. Atema says, “In the other room is a medical area to find out what their problems are and if we can solve them with simple medicines.”
If the clinic can’t treat patients, including those with cholera, they arrange for them to go to another doctor or the hospital. Atema says, “It’s just one more level of service of need that they have that we can provide. And we must provide it because really the people we’re working with nobody else is working with.”
As they work, the team talks to their patients and gets to know them. Atema says, “We want to strengthen that relationship. Ultimately, we want to talk to them about the great physician, who is Jesus Christ.”
Pray for wisdom for the Heart for Lebanon team. “There’s a lot of Syrian refugees in the Bekaa Valley. We can’t treat all of them in this clinic. It takes wisdom for our team to say, ‘Yes, this is something we can handle, this is something we can help you with,’ Or to say, ‘This is serious, we can help you get to the right resource.’”
Header photo courtesy of Heart for Lebanon.