Dear friends of HCS,
As we enter this new year after enduring yet another extraordinarily challenging one, I cannot help but feel hopeful. Together we have overcome seemingly insur mountable obstacles over the last few years. And, although many of our dreams were deferred since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, we have many successes to celebrate.
HCS continued to provide support for all dialysis beneficiaries at both hemodialy sis centers despite the country’s worsening financial crisis. Dialysis sessions, blood tests, and even PCR testing for COVID-19 are offered free of charge. In 2022 we are looking forward to moving our hemodialysis center in Beddawi refugee camp to a dedicated space in the newly constructed Safad Hospital. This will allow us to ac commodate more patients simultaneously in a brand-new state-of-the-art hemodi alysis unit.
Our thalassemia and sickle cell disease beneficiaries are slowly returning to the he matology clinic at the American University of Beirut Medical Center after many months of delays related to the pandemic. There, they are assessed by a world-class medical team and referred for any necessary blood tests or imaging, all of which are covered by HCS. A small but important victory was the recently se cured donation of 200 boxes of hydroxyurea, a medication that is essential to keep ing our sickle cell beneficiaries healthy.
With the value of the Lebanese lira falling against the dollar, HCS faced some chal lenges in its project to support patients’ surgeries and hospitalizations. Despite this, HCS supported more beneficiaries in 2021 than in the year prior. In 2022, we will continue to work our hardest to find solutions to each new challenge we face. As my first month at HCS comes to a close, I am optimistic that we will persevere and grow despite the complex challenges we face in Lebanon. Collective action to wards a common objective has the power to conquer even the biggest of barriers. Together we can alleviate the suffering of our Palestinian brothers and sisters.
Hebah EI-Rayess MD, MPH Executive Director