BEIRUT — Caretaker Health Minister Firas Abiad said in a radio interview Thursday that recent medical aid that has reached Lebanon was donated by overseas American or Lebanon-focused NGOs, noting that there has been “no US government aid,” the state-run National News Agency reported.
Here’s what we know:
• The Cancer Support Fund at the American University of Beirut Medical Center received a donation Wednesday of more than $1.4 million worth of cancer medications, which are expected to assist leukemia patients and others with vital care, an AUBMC administrator told L'Orient Today.
• The cancer medications came from People to People Aid, a US organization, in partnership with Direct Relief and MAP International, and are part of a larger $5 million dollar international donation of chronic, psychotropic and cancer medications that arrived in Lebanon last week, according to an AUB Medical Center press release. The Cancer Support Fund is an NGO affiliated with AUBMC but assists adult cancer patients throughout Lebanon.
• According to the NNA, Abiad added Thursday that the main problem when it comes to financing cancer drugs and kidney dialysis procedures “lies in funding,” adding that “work is underway to boost funding and to ensure that there is no [drug] misuse, waste or corruption.”
• Chronic disease medications, such as those for cancer and dialysis, are still partially subsidized by Banque du Liban, but they continue to be prohibitively expensive and oftentimes in short supply due to the financial crisis.