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The gynaecological clinic provides medical aid in Lebanon

October 26, 2022

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5 min

At the end of August 2022, Eva Cavegn and Sarah Limbeck, assistant doctors at the Zollikerberg Hospital Women's Clinic, travelled to Beirut to support medical care on site.

Until a few years ago, Lebanon's medical sector was one of the best in the Middle East. However, after the serious explosion in the port of Beirut on 4 August 2020, medical care was on the verge of collapse and only just survived the unprecedented economic and financial collapse. There was also a huge need for shelter, food, clothing and hygiene products. As a result, the Beirut Church of the Nazarene founded the "Balassan Medical Centre" in October 2020. Without further ado, the centre was able to offer the population general practitioner and psychological help.

Two assistant doctors from Zollikerberg Hospital travel to Lebanon

At the end of August 2022, Eva Cavegn and Sarah Limbeck, assistant doctors at Zollikerberg Hospital's Women's Clinic, travelled to Beirut to support medical care on site: they treated around fifty women at the Balassan Medical Center. This gave them a rare insight into the different fates and medical needs of people in Lebanon - and led to the sobering realisation that most of the women, most of whom are Muslim and some Christian, have never had the opportunity to undergo a gynaecological examination. Infections, bleeding disorders or breast changes are among the most common ailments, and many have experienced sexual abuse.

"One patient had been suffering from severe pain for many years due to clinically advanced endometriosis," says Sarah Limbeck. "She couldn't afford a laparoscopy; it would cost her more than ten months' salary. Even the most common hormone preparation to contain the endometriosis lesions is currently only available for enormous sums of money." Eva Cavegn continues: "A woman came to us with severe iron deficiency anaemia. The cause had never been clarified and iron-rich foods such as fish, meat and nuts are no longer affordable for her. Even the iron supplement she had taken a few years ago is no longer available."

Donations for better medical care

Many people in Lebanon are dependent on external help. At the "Balassan Medical Centre" in Beirut, around thirty patients are now treated daily by specialists in various fields, regardless of age, origin or religion. The medical costs incurred are covered in part and in some cases in full by financial supporters.

The Women's Clinic at Zollikerberg Hospital has continued to support the commitment of Eva Cavegn and Sarah Limbeck with a generous donation in kind for the "Balassan Medical Centre". The assistant doctors take stock: "The confrontation with the situation in Lebanon taught us humility and gratitude for what we have."

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