WHO: More than half of Beirut hospitals ‘non-functional'

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The damaged Wardieh hospital is pictured in the aftermath of the explosion earlier this month in Lebanon's capital city. — Courtesy photo
The damaged Wardieh hospital is pictured in the aftermath of the explosion earlier this month in Lebanon's capital city. — Courtesy photo

CAIRO — More than half of the healthcare facilities in the Lebanese capital are “non-functional” following last week's deadly portside explosion, the World Health Organization said Wednesday.

Following an assessment of 55 clinics and health centers in the Lebanese capital, “we know now that just over 50 percent are non-functional,” said WHO's regional emergency director Richard Brennan at a virtual press conference in Cairo.

The explosion also killed doctors, nurses, and patients in their hospitals. Destroyed vital medicines, vaccines, and personal protective equipment. Damaged primary health care centers. And placed tremendous strain on a health system already in crisis.

Three major hospitals were damaged or destroyed, one visited by the ICRC last week is unable to accept a single patient due to the damage. It would normally be able to treat up to 8,000 in-patients and 14,000 emergency cases per year.

“From one minute to the next, the world changed for people in Beirut,” said Basma Tabaja, deputy head of the ICRC delegation in Lebanon.

“Nearly half of the city received significant damage. Almost 300,000 people lost their homes and belongings in the blink of an eye. — Agencies


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