On Monday 27 September, a delegation by NORWAC headed by our CEO Dr. Erik Fosse visited the newly appointed Lebanese Minister of Public Health, Dr. Firass Abiad. NORWAC was accompanied by a delegation from the Norwegian embassy in Lebanon headed by Ambassador Martin Yttervik, and Dr. Abdullah Omari from NORWAC’s partner organisation URDA.
The visit came about as NORWAC has completed a project to support the largest public health facility in Beirut, the Rafik Hariri University Hospital (RHUH), in the wake of the August 4 2021 explosion that ravaged much of the Lebanese capital. Minister Abiad was the hospital director at the time, and NORWAC and the embassy commended his leadership and the role of the public sector amidst the deep crisis Lebanon finds itself in, and which is also a massive health crisis, brought on by financial collapse and corona, and further aggravated by the emigration of many of the health personnel in the country.
NORWAC’s support to the Rafik Hariri University Hospital, financed by the Norwegian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, consisted of critical material infrastructure, such as an oxygen concentrator, an electric generator and incubators. NORWAC also supported the hospital in reopening the only public psychiatric ward in Lebanon. The visit to the minister was preceded by a tour of the hospital premises, guided by the new acting director, Ms. Wahida Ghalayini.