July 16, 2020


How can you ask homeless people to stay at home to avoid infection?

For people dependent on daily activities for their survival such as day laborers and those living in precarious or overcrowded settings, self-isolation and lockdowns are not realistic. In some places, hundreds of thousands—sometimes even millions—of people live in difficult and dangerous conditions, without any social safety net. It is crucial to provide people with the means to protect themselves and others.

SEMA US has expanded its healthcare programs in Lebanon, just in time to respond to the coronavirus pandemic. The COVID-19 response primarily focuses on increasing access to healthcare for vulnerable communities including Syrian and Palestinian refugees, and will involve adapting medical activities in its own facilities, health promotion in the community, and supporting hospitals with their fight against the outbreak.

We are preparing our teams to receive cases in our facilities, in response to the emerging needs of the Lebanese population as well as the Syrian and Palestinian refugees or anyone else in Bekaa Valley. However, most patients with COVID-19 do not need hospitalization, which makes community intervention a vital element of any response in order to decrease the pressure on hospitals. SEMA US teams are conducting a series of intensive health awareness sessions about COVID-19 for vulnerable refugee communities. 

We still intend to keep most of our regular medical programs running by strengthening infection prevention and control measures. The non-COVID-19 medical needs of the communities cannot be ignored.

If medical care were to falter, then common childhood killers like measles, malaria, and diarrhea, would go untreated. It shouldn’t. Other essential services SEMA US provides, such as sexual and reproductive health care, psychological treatment, emergency room services, maternity and surgical wards, and treatment of patients living with communicable diseases remain operational. 

We are striving to find ways to keep doing as much of our lifesaving work as possible while adapting to the multiple and serious challenges of the coronavirus pandemic. You can help us make a greater impact by making a gift to SEMA US

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