Category Archives: Health

Support DSC Lebanon To Eliminate Blood Shortage In Lebanon!

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People rush to Donner Sang Compter when they need blood for a friend or relative but they seem to forget that such a service comes with a financial tag. Donner Sang Compter is a non-profit, non-governmental organization that links volunteer donors to patients in need of blood since 2010. DSC was able to recruit more than 15,000 blood donors, 250+ committed volunteers and was able to save more 50,000 lives in the past 5 years, which is quite remarkable!

DSC introduced the mobile blood bank in 2014, a bus equipped with world-class technologies and specialized in receiving people who want to donate blood. The bus teams up with a medical team from one of Lebanon’s hospitals and goes around different areas, universities and companies to encourage people to donate in a safe, healthy, confidential and comfortable way. That way, hospitals meet their blood demands until it is their turn again to take the bus.

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The bus that DSC is using is old and needs a lot of rehabilitation from the inside such as new donation chairs, new equipment, maintenance, electricity, lighting and other stuff. For this purpose, Donner Sang Compter are crowdfunding the renovation of the mobile blood bank to organize more drives and eliminate blood shortage in hospitals!

DSC are in need of $30,000 and they’ve collected so far $5000. They still have 32 days left to crowdfund the remaining amount and need everyone’s support. If you can’t support with money, share the news on all social media networks and reach out to your friends and family for help. If you know any organizations or corporations that are willing to donate the whole amount or donate a bus, please let me know and I will hook them up with Donner Sang Compter.

DSC is one of the very few NGOs in Lebanon that’s doing things right and making a change. They are always there when we need them so let’s show some support this time and make this happen!

Spread the message and donate as little as 5$ to make a difference!

[Donate] here.

[YouTube]

Lebanese Young Entrepreneur Ziad Sankari Recognized By US President Barack Obama

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Ziad

I met Ziad Sankari back in 2012 as we were both speakers at TedxLAU. I remember very well sitting right next to Ziad and asking him about CardioDiagnostics as it was a brilliant idea and by far the most interesting talk we had that day. Ziad has been relentlessly working on his idea since then and his efforts finally paid off as he got invited to the White House two days ago as one of the emerging young entrepreneurs from around the world. Ziad Sankari’s work was recognized by US President Barack Obama who introduced Ziad to the whole world (Yup you heard me right!) and explained how CardioDiagnostics, a heart monitoring technology, “is improving the way we respond to cardiac attack incidents which will have enormous ramifications not just in places like Lebanon but potentially all around the world”.

Being recognized by the US president is a huge deal as it provides a unique opportunity to attract investors and I am positive that Ziad will go very far with his idea and I wish him the best of luck!

Check out Obama’s speech [here].

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If you are still wondering who is Ziad and what’s CardioDiagnostics, here’s the full story:

Ziad Sankari started CardioDiagnostics in 2012. Ziad lost his father to a heart attack when he was seventeen and his family lacked access to proper healthcare. He decided to pursue his studies in understanding the electrical activity of the heart and how monitoring and analyzing that activity can save lives. Today, the company uses FDA-approved wearable devices that are 24/7 GPS-enabled heart rate monitors allowing for heart monitoring centers to communicate diagnostic and preventive information to patients in the United States, where the center has over 40 employees, and in Lebanon. In 2008, Ziad attended Ohio State University on a U.S. Fulbright scholarship. After returning to Lebanon, he was selected to pitch his idea at the 2011 Global Innovation through Science and Technology’s (GIST) Tech-I competition where he won first place. Through GIST, a U.S. Department of State funded initiative, Ziad received his first round of seed funding and traveled through various U.S. cities to expand his network, learn how to negotiate, and connect with mentors. Given his experiences, Ziad sees education as essential to successful entrepreneurship and to combat rising issues of poverty and extremism. He hopes to support other startups and build a high-performing educational system in Lebanon and throughout the Middle East that leverages U.S. expertise and connections to open a world of opportunities to younger generations. [Source]

Make sure to check out [CardioDiagnostics] for more info.

Here’s an interview with Ziad before the White House meeting:

[YouTube]

Finally A Modern Hospital In Keserwan! The Keserwan Medical Center, An AUBMC Affiliate, Opening Soon

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Even though Keserwan is one of the most populated districts in Lebanon, the hospitals there are all average or below average when compared to the ones in Beirut. I’ve been to most of them and they are all old and badly equipped, not to mention that some of them are dirty. I remember posting once about the unfortunate ski accident that killed Melanie Freiha and how the nearest hospital to Lebanon’s most popular ski resorts is 30 minutes away and is not prepared to welcome all sorts of injuries. Of course the hospital is not to blame here as the concerned ministries and the authorities should have considered long time ago opening emergency centers in popular touristic spots and ski resorts.

Having said that, it looks like the wait is over as the Keserwan Medical Center will soon be opening in Kfarhbab, Keserwan. KMC will be a major academic affiliate of AUB Medical Center in the North and will allow AUBMC to cater to a different segment of the Lebanese population in the mountains and north of Lebanon. What’s great about this hospital is that it’s located on the highway and easily accessible, and of course that it’s modern, will provide state-of-the-art medical care to patients and most importantly healthcare delivery in the area. Speaking of AUB MC, the AUB faculty of Medicine was recently ranked no.1 among university medical facilities in the Arab world, according to the 2015 QS Rankigns by Subject.

I passed by the KMC 3 months ago and a couple of buildings were already completed. I was told that it’s already open but not officially but I can’t confirm that. A friend of mine told me that the hospital should be fully operational very soon. If you have further info on KMC, please do share.

Here’s a small brief I found online and few pictures taken from SY Architects:

The center is located in one of the most beautiful landscapes in Lebanon, with an amazing sea view and rapid access from the main highway in Jounieh. The individual buildings of the Medical Center are designed according to the latest international scientific standards, with the purpose of providing both efficient and safe care. K.M.C Hospital architecture creates a comfortable space for nursing and treatment, thus contributing to a patient’s positive mental attitude, in an atmosphere of a healing environment, for spaces designed can affect both the physiological well-being of the patient.

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Radioactive Sanitary Towels Seized At The Beirut Airport

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That’s just crazy stuff! More than half a ton of sanitary towels containing a radioactive substance were seized today at the Beirut Rafic Hariri Airport. The pads confiscated were all Chinese-made and delivered to Lebanon through Dubai. The news were reported by Reuters but they didn’t mention what level of radioactivity had been detected.

I think this is far worse than expired or rotten products and I hope the authorities will be able to trace back the source and see if any radioactive products are being sold in the market. We need to know the name of the company and who the hell is sending half a ton of radioactive sanitary towels to our market. On another note, this is the first time I hear about the Lebanese Atomic Energy Agency. I had no clue we had such a thing in Lebanon so I looked up a bit and found a website and the below info:

The Lebanese Atomic Energy Commission (LAEC) was established in 1996 with the support and collaboration of the International Atomic Energy Agency and the Arabic Atomic Energy Commission, in order to promote the peaceful application of atomic energy in Lebanon. The Commission is the only institution of its kind within the CNRS. Recently through its operational arm a radiation protection infrastructure is being established. The Commission is currently involved in environmental and food monitoring programmes using state of the art equipment and techniques.

Remembering Sarah el Khatib On World Cancer Day

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cancer via ArtSheep

Sara el Khatib was a 4th year pharmacy student at LAU and was battling cancer, living with an amputation and enduring the accompanying pain. Sara gave the below inspiring TEDx talk 14 days before she passed away, leaving us with 4 objects, symbolizing 4 lessons she had learned while battling cancer.

As brilliantly quoted in the poster above, cancer changes your live not the value of it. Let’s remember Sara, Simon and all those who lost the battle, as well as the survivors and all those battling cancer on this day.

[YouTube]

Simon Has Unfortunately Lost His Fight Against Leukemia

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Simon Badaoui dedicated his life to helping people since his early age and was a Lebanese Red Cross volunteer. Unfortunately, he was diagnosed with leukemia five years ago and an online fundraising campaign was started last year to cover all the expenses needed for his surgery and treatment. All of Lebanon supported Simon and the expenses were covered in few days only, but unfortunately Leukemia is not easy to fight and Simon died two days ago.

May he rest in peace.

Beirut And Tripoli Slaughterhouses Temporarily Closed

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slaughter

I read in the past few days that slaughterhouses in Beirut and Tripoli were temporarily closed as they failed to meet health standards regarding the way animals are killed and how the facility is maintained. This is good news but it’s funny that they decided to examine the slaughterhouses after checking the restaurants and supermarkets. Usually you go after the source or the suppliers then you check the other end but let’s look at the bright side and hope they fix these slaughterhouses.

Speaking of Beirut’s Maslakh, I’ve shared a video a year ago on the malpractices being committed inside and LBCI even did a report on food safety back in May 2013. I even visited the place while looking for the Beirut crocodile earlier this year.

Roads For Life Working To Enhance The Quality Of “Trauma Care” In Lebanon

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I had the honor to meet Mrs. Zeina Kassar Kassem, the president and founder of the Roads For Life – Talal Kassem Fund for Post-Accident care few weeks ago and I got to learn about the outstanding work this NGO has been doing for the past few years. Mrs. Kassem lost her 17-year old son Talal after he was run over by a raging driver on his way to school four years ago, yet despite her huge loss, she decided to make a difference and start the Talal Kassem foundation to “promote road safety and provide road victims the optimal support for post-trauma care”.

Roads for life has been doing a tremendous job by giving trauma surgeons, emergency physicians, nurses and Red Cross volunteers world-class training to help improve the chance of survival for road victims in the first 60 minutes of the accident (also known as the golden hour). Surgeons and Physicians from all hospitals in Lebanon are being offered the Advanced Trauma Life Support course (ATLS) which is certified by the “American College of Surgeons” in Chicago, nurses get the ATCN training while Red Cross volunteers get the PreHospital Trauma Life Support (PHTLS) course.

Roads for life decided to tackle a cause that concerns us all, and worked hand in hand with professionals to enhance the quality of “Trauma Care” throughout the Lebanese territory. Getting the proper treatment at the right time and the right place can substantially help a patient and maybe save his life.

Here are the numbers of people Roads for Life has trained since 2011:
– 260 Red Cross volunteers and staff members.
– 216 trauma surgeons and physicians from over 65 hospitals all across Lebanon.
– 48 nurses.

It is worth noting that no more than four doctors are present in every ATLS session and that the mannequin they train on costs tens of thousands of dollars and is valid for one training only. Therefore, training over 200 physicians is a huge achievement and a great step forward for Lebanese hospitals.

Here’s a small report on Roads for Life and how Zeina Kassem has overcome this tragic day and founded Roads for Life to help save more lives and making the Lebanese roads a safer place.

You can learn more about Roads for Life and how you can help them [here].

[YouTube]

Roads For Life Values:
Enable world-class post-trauma capacity building to physicians, nurses and first aiders in Lebanon
Lobby for the development and enforcement of better legislations related to road safety, and ensure their sustainable implementation
Establish and maintain relationships with government entities as well as local and worldwide NGOs to mobilize road safety stakeholder and have a stronger impact
Increase awareness on best practices for driving and avoiding road accidents as well as the consequences of reckless behavior.

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Tarboosh Movember: Early detection is key

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I haven’t seen a lot of Movember awareness campaigns this year in Lebanon. I loved the Tarboosh one though. Alfa also has some competition including taking pictures with a mustache. Movember is an annual, month-long event (November) involving the growing of mustaches to raise awareness on men-related health issues, such as prostate cancer.

You can read more about it [Here].

wezank My friends at WeZank

PS: I’ve reviewed lately the new Tarboosh flavors, check them out [Here].

Did The Ministry Of Health Inspect Beirut’s Public Slaughterhouse?

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slaughter

I posted this video a year ago. Compassion in World Farming visited the Karantina Slaughterhouse and were shocked by what’s happening there. Since the Ministry of Health is launching a food safety campaign, it would be a great idea to start with the Beirut Slaughterhouse where most of the restaurants in Lebanon get their meat from.

“The slaughterhouse is chaos. Everything is coated in a layer of blood, faeces and body parts. The slaughter area is heaving with people, live animals and slaughtered bodies. The sounds and smells are overwhelming.

Men grab defenceless sheep by the fleece or back leg. They fall to their knees and are forcefully dragged, one by one, to the slaughter line. Cattle are dragged by ropes around their necks. When they try to resist restraint they are yelled at and beaten viciously with metal rods. The animals are visibly terrified and in their frantic attempts to escape they slip, trip and fall, slamming their heads into the concrete floor.

Groups of sheep are forced to jump over dead bodies and wide gutters full of blood. They desperately try to force their way away from the bodies of other sheep they have just watched being slaughtered. Cows are left suspended fully-conscious by one leg for long periods of time, their faces resting in pools of other animals’ blood. They watch animals being slaughtered all around them. I wonder if they realize it will soon be their turn?”

[YouTube]