Category Archives: Health

#Lebanon Ranked Second on Numbeo’s 2016 Pollution Index

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Numbeo’s Pollution Index is an estimation of the overall pollution in the city. “The biggest weight is given to air pollution, than to water pollution/accessibility, two main pollution factors. Small weight is given to other pollution types. The rankings are based on surveys from visitors of this website. Questions for this surveys are similar to many similar scientific and government surveys”.

Lebanon ranked second after Egypt. Jordan was the next Arab country in the 14th spot, followed by Bahrain (#16), Qatar (#18), Saudi Arabia (#30) and UAE (#52). Numbeo is a crowd-sourced global database of reported consumer prices, perceived crime rates, quality of health care, other statistics.

Pollution

A Report On The Beach Water Quality Along Lebanon’s Coast

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Tri Tripoli Beaches – Photo Credits: Souad Sbaiti

This is a follow-up on a post I wrote back in April. A sea water monitoring study was conducted by the National Center for Marine Sciences (I had no clue we had such a thing), and this is a summary of the results:

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As you can see, most of the beaches that are frequented by Lebanese during the summer are good. Most of the beaches North of Lebanon are clean and Tyr’s beaches are the best. The Jiye & Damour beaches are ok despite the garbage that was being dumped there underwater and Saida’s beach is good after the garbage mountain got removed.

Enjoy the summer!

They Are Building a Hospital Near Horsh Beirut!

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hospital via Nahnoo

Horsh Beirut was closed to the public for more than 20 years by the Beirut Municipality for fear of vandalism and poor maintenance, and due to the lack of resources to protect the park. As soon as it reopened all week long to the public, a construction site popped up right next to it. Apparently, a new hospital is being built there.

Beirut Governor confirmed the news and said he will hold talks with the NGO Nahnoo regarding that matter.

There’s nothing really to talk about here! Let us leave the damn park alone and expand green areas around it. That’s the only rational thing to do. Instead of building new hospitals, let the municipality invest in renovating and improving the present ones.

My Brother, Dr. Zahi Ibrahim Mitri, Awarded The 2016 Young Investigator Award

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conquer

Since I keep sharing news about Lebanese shining abroad, I thought it’s about time I brag about my own brother, Dr. Zahi Mitri who was awarded The 2016 Young Investigator Award by the Conquer Cancer Foundation in the United States. “The Young Investigator Award (YIA) provides funding to promising investigators to encourage and promote quality research in clinical oncology”.

My younger brother has always been the family genius. He was always at the top of his class in school, he was always in the top 5 in his biology years at AUB, he aced all his Medicine tests, ranked top 5 in all his Med years, graduated with honors, won the Pen Rose Award at the American University of Beirut, matched with his first choice (Emory University Hospital) where he completed his residency, then moved to MD Anderson, widely regarded as one of the best cancer hospitals in the United States and the World where he completed his fellowship.

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What I love about my brother is that he makes all these achievements look so easy. He used to go out all the time, party, drink, exercise and then come back home and read 500 pages to prepare for his next exam. Even when abroad, he always has time for family and used to look after all of us. He’s also very modest and doesn’t brag about what he does. Aside from being a doctor, he’s also a loving husband and a proud father.

My brother has always been into research since his AUB medicine years and has chosen a difficult field (oncology) that could help improve the lives of millions of people around the world. The CCF Young Investigator Award is aimed to help promising young investigators and some of the brightest minds in clinical and translational cancer research and I’m proud, even though not surprised, to see my brother on that list.

We are all proud of him. My dad was very proud of him and he’d tell everyone about his achievements 🙂

The Conquer Cancer Foundation (CCF) was founded by the foremost cancer doctors of the American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) to seek dramatic advances in the prevention, treatment and cures of all types of cancer. CCF works to conquer this disease by funding breakthrough cancer research and sharing cutting-edge knowledge with patients and physicians worldwide, by improving quality of and access to care, and by enhancing quality of life for all who are touched by cancer.

Sunday Morning Escape

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Bike1

You might have visited every city in the country, but if you have not experienced Lebanon by bike then you have definitely been missing out. Three years ago, my friends got me a bike, they were certain that it was going to end up in the garage with layers of dust covering it. To everyone’s surprise, from that day, I have been biking every single weekend.

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Sunday for me, has drastically changed from a lazy day (±200 calories) to the most active day of the week (+2000 calories). On an average, we cover around 60-70 Km per ride, taking anywhere between 3-5 hours, depending on the number of stops we do. Our rides are not competitive, we are not in it to win a championship, but rather escape, be active, enjoy the outdoors and Live Love Lebanon.

When is the best time to go biking?
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My journey starts every Sunday at 6am. I wake up, grab a light breakfast (usually a small sandwich), pack my bike and gear and head out for my ritual ride. The ride usually starts at 8am and ends by 1pm, just in time for Sunday lunch. Before you start, find yourself a biking partner, it’s always more fun and a lot safer when you have someone with you. Every week we set out to discover a new location in the country.

What’s beautiful about bike rides, is that you get to see the places you usually miss out on by car. You can go into the narrow streets, stop and admire anything you find interesting along the way, enjoy the scenery, discover new places and take lots of amazing pictures.

What type of biker are you?

There are plenty of locations to enjoy different types of rides. City rides, sea side rides, mountain rides, uphill rides, and my personal favorites are the offroad rides.

Beginner:
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If you are a beginner, haven’t been on a bike for a long time or panic around cars, I would advise you to stick to relatively closed circuits, where cars aren’t swarming around you, like the Dbayeh Marina, Raouche, Beirut Waterfront or Amchit seaside boulevards.

Average:
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If you are an ok biker like most people, then you can venture a bit and hit the streets, the best place to ride is the on the old sea side road Jbeil – Amchit – Batroun – Anfeh. It’s relatively a straight path with few slopes, not many cars use that road on a Sunday morning, the scenery is breathtaking, and there are many places where you can stop and relax along the way. You can stop at the beach and have a swim, fuel up with a lemonade in the old Batroun souks or even get a glass of beer and chill at Colonel Beer.

Advanced:
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If you are an advanced biker, you can burn few more more calories by riding uphill in the Metn area, starting in Baabdat and moving up to Ain El Sefsaf or even shoot for longer rides in the Bekaa valey from Taanayel to Qaraoun.

Thrill Seeker:

Thrill seekers can go into remote rocky areas in Wata El Joz, Keserwan and enjoy an offroad experience. Of course you need a mountain bike and some extra protection gear to endure the ride.

How much does it cost?
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If you don’t have a bike, you can always purchase one, you don’t need an expensive bike. You can get a mountain bike that works both for city rides and offroad for $500-700. If you don’t want to invest in a bike just yet, there are plenty of bike rentals in Beirut, Gemmayze, Jbeil, Amchit and Batroun. You can rent a bike for as low as 7,000 L.L.

All in All:
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In Lebanon, we have the perfect landscape and weather for outdoor activities. Unfortunately, our roads are in terrible conditions, there are no bike lanes and car drivers have no respect for bikers on the streets. This is the main reason why I bike very early on Sundays, to minimize as much as possible the risks of getting hit by a car and avoid heavy traffic.

With the upcoming municipal elections, electoral programs should focus more on making the cities open and fit for healthier outdoor life, encourage people to go out, be active and use less and less their cars. Of course we can always dream of having a bicycle highway, like the one Germany just opened. It’s a 62 miles bicycle road that connects 10 western cities including Duisburg, Bochum, and Hamm, as well as four universities.

Sukleen Still Defending Naameh Landfill

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naameh

I honestly have no idea who advised Sukleen and Sukomi to organize a press conference to defend the Naameh landfill and then sponsor the story on Facebook. It’s like asking for bad publicity and hate comments and I’m sure the person handling their social media is going through hell right now.

The real problem has always been with our government not just Sukleen so I’m not sure why they are dragging themselves into that. Nevertheless, if they insist on proving that the Naameh landfill is perfectly fine, let them present scientific proof and documents to back their claim.

More importantly, let them sit with the Naameh residents and explain to those in the video below who’s to blame for the situation they are in.

مطمر الموت الصحي

ما لا تريدك سلطة الفساد أن تعرف عن ما يسمى من قبلهم بالطمر "الصحي".. شاهدوا للنهاية..#طلعت_ريحتكم وقتلتونا

Posted by ‎طلعت ريحتكم‎ on Friday, April 8, 2016

The Ultimate Guide to Dealing With Garbage in Lebanon

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111

If you’re having trouble dealing with the garbage situation in Lebanon, follow the below guidelines:

1- Keep a picture of our current Environment Minister with you at all time. It’s a very efficient blocking tool.
2- Make use of all these mosquitoes to create new local dishes. Mosquito Hrisse can be our new local secret on Snapchat. Chou we2fit 3al Fattet Shrimps?
3- If you can’t stand the smell and have to take out your garbage, throw if off the balcony.
4- If you risk getting caught, build a small catapult, install it on the roof and throw your garbage to your neighbor’s roof.
5- Urinate to mark your “garbage” territory so that no one else throws trash in your spot.
6- Keep a picture of a fried rat and show it to any rat you spot on the street. That way, he will get scared and stay away from you. (Make sure to look him in the eye).
7- Snapping at a party by rotating your camera stupidly and making your followers dizzy can be made much easier with mosquitoes around.
8- Buy a net mask and wear it at all time to avoid swallowing mosquitoes. If you can’t afford masks, try to negotiate with the mosquitoes and ask them kindly not to enter your mouth, or bribe them with a couple of blood drops.
9- There’s no need to feel guilty if you fart during a date or in public, just blame it on the garbage piles and fart at will.
10- The new waves of mosquitoes arriving are harmless and are part of the celebrations prepared by the government to mark the 100th anniversary of the invasion of locusts (jarad) during WWI. If you spot suited up mosquitoes, don’t be afraid.

If all else fails, follow the genius solution proposed by one of Mr.Lebanon’s candidates.

What The Naameh Residents Are Going Through Because Of The Landfill

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mka

The garbage crisis is first and foremost a health crisis and Naameh residents are the most affected by this crisis. Residents neighboring the landfill should have been given a financial indemnity as promised and moved outside the area long time ago.

No one should be allowed to live near this poisonous and toxic landfill. The air is contaminated with various toxic substances, the water is contaminated by the landfill, the flies roaming around the garbage and over your food can get you food poisoned or severely sick, and there’s an increasing rate of cancer among the residents as they are left exposed to untreated chemicals.

The Naameh landfill should have never reopened and residents have every right to block the road. The cost to maintain the Naameh landfill is one of the highest in the world and the garbage is not even being treated properly. Moreover, “The combination of organic and dangerous trash in the landfill has created toxic liquid known as leachate, which is much more polluting than sewage water” according to Lebanon Eco Movement President Paul Abi Rached.

All those living near the landfill should relocate the soonest and all medical and relocation expenses should be paid by the government. This should be the Health Ministry’s top priority.

مطمر الموت الصحي

ما لا تريدك سلطة الفساد أن تعرف عن ما يسمى من قبلهم بالطمر "الصحي".. شاهدوا للنهاية..#طلعت_ريحتكم وقتلتونا

Posted by ‎طلعت ريحتكم‎ on Friday, April 8, 2016

To Control Mosquitoes, We Must Dispose of Trash Correctly

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mos

The Environment Minister tweeted today that “the rise in the number of mosquitoes is the result of higher seasonal temperatures and a environment embracing bugs”. While we all are aware of that fact, someone should also remind the Minister that we need to keep our cities clean and get rid of any standing water or uncovered trash to control flies and mosquitoes.

Uncovered trash is all a mosquito needs to start a family, so imagine what hundreds of tons of uncovered piles of trash over a 9 month period can do.

I think we need to start a petition the soonest to introduce the “In-Denial” ministry.

#AddictNotCriminal: Lebanese Hospitals To Refrain From Reporting Drug Addicts To The Police

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drug

The above statement was shared by Embrace Fund and translates to the following:

The Ministry of Public Health officially urges all Lebanese hospitals to refrain from their usual practice of reporting drug addicts to the police upon their arrival to the Emergency Department.

This practice discourages many young individuals from seeking treatment and in many cases leads to tragic consequences.

As stated in the memo below, the law mandates treating individuals suffering from drug addiction as any patient who has the right to quality care and respect of his/her privacy, without any stigma or discrimination. The law is also designed to encourage addicts to seek treatment and rehabilitation, rather than be criminalized or punished.

This means that in the event of overdose, the hospitals will no longer need to report the cases to the police and will treat the individual as a patient not as a criminal. This is great news and a huge step forward as these individuals should get help and not be interrogated the second day.

Just to give you an idea on the systematic arrests of drug addicts in Lebanon (preventive detention) and the flagrant violations of basic human rights, I recommend you read this article published last year on Legal Agenda.

mejrem

Here’s a small excerpt:

One of the major and critical obstacles is the phenomenon of systematically arresting addicts during preliminary investigations. A 2010 study of legal prosecutions conducted by NGO Skoun (Lebanese Addictions Center), showed that in 90% of cases the Public Prosecution Office arrested the addicts during the preliminary investigation.[5] The average period of administrative detention (which takes place before the case is referred to the competent public prosecution’s office) lasted 6½ days, which exceeds the maximum period of 96 hours allowed by law. In a more recent case (2013), a suspected drug user was detained for 20 days in the Antelias police station, a flagrant violation of Article 47 of the Code of Criminal Procedure. The delay occurred on the pretext of administrative congestion within the Central Anti-Drug Bureau (which has investigative jurisdiction), and in the Baabda Palace of Justice (home of the Public Prosecution Office with jurisdiction to settle the case). The Central Anti-Drug Bureau merely sent an investigator to the Antelias police station to conduct the necessary interrogations with the detained suspect, but this did not result in his release. In fact, the suspect was only released after a long toil in which one request after another were presented to the Investigating Judge in Baabda.