September 11th, 2006
The World Health Organization reports shows that Lebanon health facilities have suffered considerable damage.
“In some areas of Lebanon, people simply cannot access a functioning health facility. Either it has been seriously damaged, or doesn’t have the water, fuel or supplies required to provide life-saving services including emergency obstetric care…,” said Dr Ala Alwan, the WHO Director-General’s Representative for Health Action in Crises….
The assessment finds that damage to buildings varies drastically from one place to another. In total, 26% of all health facilities are not functioning due to physical damage, lack of staff or lack of accessibility. A total of 12 buildings were totally destroyed and 38 severely damaged, with the most damage in Bent Jbeil, followed by Marjayoun, Nabatieh and the southern suburbs of Beirut.
Moreover, the assessment shows that serious shortages of fuel, power supply and drinking water continue. In general, only one third of health facilities have potable water, and just one in four remain linked to the general sewerage system or to a power supply. Meanwhile 31% use generators but less than one in five has enough fuel to run them.
A priority for any “reconstruction” is obviously to repair the extensive damage to the health sector. On can, of course, only dream that those responsible for the damage will be punished. After all, international law in the modern world is only for loosers.