NORWAC supports chronically ill Syrian refugees in Lebanon

Posted on Feb 10, 2017

The continuous crisis in Syria has forced and continues to force millions of people to flee the country. The majority of the people head for neighboring countries, especially Lebanon. Refugees are in a very vulnerable situation, with little or no assets to secure safe living conditions and thus face an increased risk of health problems. Chronically ill people, who depend upon regular treatment for survival, are at particular risk of serious consequences of a life in refuge. They have little access to health services due to inability to pay for services or to reach services, and available services may have insufficient capacity and/or inadequate treatment options. The chronically ill patients receive little attention from the international aid community. Without necessary treatment many of these chronically ill patients are at of risk dying – or will try to escape to countries where such treatment is more accessible.


NORWAC has filled this gap in medical needs among the Syrian refugees in Lebanon, with a special effort towards patients suffering from chronic kidney failure and children with the congenital blood disease thalassemia. NORWAC has supported these patients with life-saving treatment by using the available health services in Lebanon.


NORWAC works together with two local partners in Lebanon on this project, Health Care Society (HCS) and Union of Relief and Development Associations (URDA). HCS was founded in 1995 and its mission is to provide health security to the Palestinian Refugees in Lebanon. NORWAC supports their project in helping chronically ill Palestinian refugees from Syria. URDA is a Lebanese organization established in 2012 at the beginning of the Syrian refugee influx to Lebanon. URDA acts as an umbrella that includes and harmonizes the efforts of more than 100 local NGOs supporting displaced Syrians in Lebanon. NORWAC started working with HSC and URDA in 2015.

Over the last year NORWAC has in co-operations with their partner offered help to 166 renal failure patients with over 12 000 dialysis session and 251 patients with thalassemia or other chronic blood diseases including over 1 700 blood transfusions. These lifesaving treatments are very expensive and the project budget for 417 patients is 22 400 000 NOK.

One of the children who has gotten help through this project is five years old “Ahmed”. He suffers from kidney disease. He is one of the children helped through HCS and by providing him with the required monthly medication needed to prevent kidney dialysis. Monthly blood tests showed great change and improvement, and “Ahmeds’” picture before (with Edema due to fluid retention) and after treatment says more than thousand words.   “Ahmed” is still a part of the project and is receiving help regularly. His family did not have the money for treatment and couldn’t get help from any other source except through HCS and NORWAC.


"Ahmed" before and after treatment