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MSF and Positive On Glucose Collaborate to Empower Patients and Foster Sustainable and Holistic Healthcare Initiatives in Lebanon

News & Events > News & Stories > MSF and Positive On Glucose Collaborate to Empower Patients and Foster Sustainable and Holistic Healthcare Initiatives in Lebanon

[Beirut, 3rd of August 2023] — Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) is pleased to announce a collaboration with Positive On Glucose (PoG), a local NGO dedicated to supporting people living with diabetes in Lebanon through support groups, providing free access to crucial information for the management of their conditions and advocating for their right to access necessary medications. This collaboration aims to prioritize the demands of individuals living with diabetes by working collaboratively with the community to design and deliver healthcare services that are accessible, affordable, and effective in a manner that is tailored to respond to their needs.

We are thrilled to join forces with Positive On Glucose. For over a decade, MSF has been providing treatment and medical care for people with chronic diseases, including those living with diabetes, in Baalbeck-Hermel, Tripoli and South Beirut. Particularly, 28,745 individuals have been treated by MSF in 2022. By leveraging MSF's extensive experience in providing comprehensive medical care and PoG’s dedication to supporting the diabetes community, this partnership aims to create a long term impact on the lives of individuals living with diabetes in Lebanon
Dr Marcelo Fernandez, MSF’s head of mission in Lebanon

PoG will work closely with MSF organizing peer support sessions for patients, health staff training and workshops. “Sessions will be conducted with patients living with diabetes, allowing for a deeper understanding of their challenges and concerns consequently helping in identifying specific areas where delivery of healthcare can be improved and adjusted to better respond to their needs,” explains Dr Fernandez.

On the other hand, staff training to be conducted will be focused on enhancing the healthcare professionals’ understanding of diabetes management not from a medical perspective but to be able to identify other challenges faced by patients such as social, economic or psychological obstacles. Integrating these skills will ensure the delivery of effective care.

Moreover, the collaboration will include peer support initiatives as an integral part of workshops and other activities. “These peer support programs will provide a platform for individuals living with diabetes to connect with and support one another, sharing their experiences, challenges, and coping strategies,” says Cyrine Farhat, the founder of PoG. The workshops and other educational activities will not only equip them with the necessary tools and knowledge to effectively manage their condition but also empower them to become advocates for themselves and others in the diabetes community to improve their access to timely and affordable medication.

“With advocacy efforts at the heart of this collaboration, and a focus on the individual’s experience, I firmly believe that we will create lasting changes in Lebanon’s healthcare landscape for people living with diabetes,” says Farhat.

The collaboration between MSF and PoG represents a step forward in the pursuit of holistic healthcare solutions through which care goes beyond strictly considering a patient’s medical challenges and needs but also addresses the various aspects that can be challenging for individuals living with chronic diseases. MSF also sees this joint effort and initiative to be a progress towards enhancing local collaborations, and strengthening community support networks.

About Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) in Lebanon: 

MSF is an independent international medical humanitarian organisation providing free healthcare to people in need, without discrimination. MSF first began work in Lebanon in 1976 and its teams have worked in the country without interruption since 2008. 

MSF teams currently work in seven locations across Lebanon, providing free medical care for vulnerable communities, including Lebanese citizens, refugees and migrant workers. MSF’s services include mental healthcare, sexual and reproductive healthcare, paediatric care, vaccinations and treatment for non-communicable diseases such as diabetes. With more than 700 staff in Lebanon, MSF teams provide around 150,000 medical consultations every year.

About Positive On Glucose: 

Positive on Glucose is a Lebanese non-profit organization founded by Cyrine Farhat, a person living with type 1 diabetes. They provide education, prevention strategies, management tools, community support, and advocacy for individuals affected by diabetes. Their goal is to raise awareness, offer educational resources, and promote early detection and prevention. They foster a sense of community through events, support groups, and online forums. They also advocate for better policies and resources, including improved healthcare access, affordable medications, and increased funding for research.

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