AUB Global Health Initiative Formally Launches Its Refugee Health Program in Bekaa Lebanon

Press release
Published June 29th, 2017 - 11:00 GMT
The Refugee Health Day was organized by the Global Health Initiative in collaboration with Beyond Association.
The Refugee Health Day was organized by the Global Health Initiative in collaboration with Beyond Association.

The Global Health Initiative, the foundational phase of the Global Health Institute (GHI) at the American University of Beirut (AUB), formally launched its Refugee Health Program (RHP) during a Refugee Health Day event that took place on June 28, 2017 in recognition of the World Refugee Awareness Month.

The Refugee Health Day was conducted in the al-Dalhamieh Camp in Bekaa; It began with the formal launch of the Refugee Health Program during which Dr. Shadi Saleh, Associate Vice President for Health Affairs and Lead of the Global Health Initiative and RHP Co-Directors, Drs. Mona Osman and Fouad M. Fouad, briefly spoke about the health mission of the program and invited the residents of the camp to benefit from the Refugee Health Day, in the presence of AUB faculty, medical doctors, staff, and students from the Faculties of Medicine, Health Sciences and Agriculture and Food Sciences.

The Refugee Health Day was organized by the Global Health Initiative in collaboration with Beyond Association. Beyond Association runs the primary healthcare intervention and vaccination program that operates with the Ministry of Public Health. AUB team set up health booths that residents of the camp approached and sought clinical advice and guidance for making healthy choices. They were advised on lifestyle habits that are scientifically known to reduce the risk of developing chronic diseases such as cardiovascular diseases, diabetes, and cancer as well as the spread of infectious diseases. 

Health experts explained the importance of maintaining a healthy body weight for youth and adults who were eager to know more. The team also gave them tips on how to select low salt food alternatives and the benefits of adapting an active lifestyle that they can achieve through their daily activities. They were advised against tobacco smoking and learned about the symptoms and complications of hypertension and diabetes.

Men, women, and children were offered free medical consultations during which they had their anthropometry (height, weight, and waist circumference), blood pressure and glucose level measured.  Furthermore, training was provided on how to maintain good body and hand hygiene to prevent the spread of infectious diseases. The residents approaching the health booths were also given hats to protect them from the sun during the summer period.

As a way to help promote physical activity, children and adolescents participated in the organized entertaining health games and physical activities. 

The Refugee Health Day ended at 3pm and by this, concluded a series of activities run by the Global Health Initiative during the World Refugee Awareness month of June.  

Next steps:

The Refugee Health Day is an event that will take place in June every year during Refugee Awareness Month. 

Background Information

American University of Beirut

Founded in 1866, the American University of Beirut is a teaching-centered research university based on the American liberal arts model of higher education. AUB has over 9,000 students and over 1,200 instructional faculty members. The University encourages freedom of thought and expression and seeks to graduate men and women committed to creative and critical thinking, lifelong learning, personal integrity, civic responsibility, and leadership.

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