His fingers were amputated due to the delay in treatment… Muhammad lost his health and thousands of Lebanese are under threat

If the Lebanese citizen was striving to secure his basic needs in light of a difficult living situation in earlier stages, the lives of hundreds are at risk today as a result of the unprecedented crisis afflicting the country. It is as if the patient’s follow-up to his health condition and the increase of the doctor has become a luxury and a dream for him. With the high rates of poverty in the country, the health security of the citizen is in danger, and we hear daily stories of patients who neglect their health condition until it reaches dangerous advanced stages that threaten their lives and make treatment more difficult. Hospital admission is no longer available to everyone with hospital bills

Which constitutes burdens few Lebanese are able to bear.

Muhammad Ezz El-Din (74 years) is one of those patients whose livelihood has turned into a major challenge. How about if they need medicines, treatments, medical follow-up and hospitalization?

Abdul Basit, the son of Muhammad, points out that he would have been unable to secure the treatments for his father, who suffers from diabetes, high blood pressure, and cholesterol, if Doctors Without Borders had not provided them. He repeatedly neglected his health due to his inability to secure medicines. However, this time, due to the difficult living situation, Muhammad did not dare to tell his family about his infection in his foot, fearing that he would have to be hospitalized and that the family would not be able to bear this amount of costs.

He neglected his foot infection for a month, until his fingers turned black and he was taken to the hospital, where his condition required immediate amputation. Médecins Sans Frontières covered the costs of the operation and treatments for Muhammad, but he was late because he could not afford the hospitalization costs, as he did not know that MSF could cover the costs of hospitalization as well, as well as the costs of medicines and medical follow-up.

Because of this neglect of his condition as a result of the economic crisis, Muhammad’s condition reached a more and more critical stage. Abdul Basit asserts that when he could not buy the anti-inflammatory drugs that were prescribed to his father to treat the infection he had, if she was not insured, the price would have increased. Noting that he takes dozens of drugs daily due to the deterioration of his condition and the increase in the diseases that afflicted him.

Muhammad is one of dozens or hundreds of Lebanese patients who are unable to access hospital care due to the economic crisis, especially since the state’s contributions cover hospital costs. The health condition is critical, hoping to manage it at home without the need to go to the hospital to avoid the high costs that could result from that.

According to what the medical coordinator of Doctors Without Borders, Farah Nasser, explains, the organization has seen a huge increase in the number of patients it supports in Arsal and Hermel in covering the costs of their treatments and the medical follow-up of their cases. Noting that the services provided by the organization focus mainly on chronic diseases such as diabetes, hypertension and heart diseases, and in the organization there are doctors who follow up on patients.

It has recently been noted that with the intensification of the crisis, patients arrive seeking help in difficult cases. Nasser points out that 250 cases were recently transferred to hospitals from patients in Doctors Without Borders clinics, as they were in a difficult condition that inevitably required admission to the hospital, including Muhammad Al-Ezz El-Din, who was not aware that the organization could cover the costs of hospitalization. What prompted him to delay admission to the hospital until his condition deteriorated and he contracted an infection, which required amputation.

Noting that Al-Manama begins by directing patients to neighboring governmental hospitals if this is possible, otherwise the search will be expanded towards private hospitals if the necessary services are not available in government hospitals.

“We are well aware that the crisis is nationwide and not limited to a specific region, but we are trying within our capabilities according to the services and diseases that we care about to cover the costs of treatments and follow-up regardless of nationality and social status. Noting that we are still able to provide medicines and treatments to patients despite the crisis.”

The initiatives of associations and organizations are still helping to save the lives of some Lebanese, while many are unable to provide their treatments. Without this support, many would have lost the battle with the disease, while the state remains absent from the suffering of the citizens.

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