The Mérieux Foundation has been working in Lebanon since 2008. In 2011, it constructed the state-of-the-art Rodolphe Mérieux Laboratory (LRM) at Saint Joseph University in Beirut. The LRM focuses its research on pneumonia, and participates in the Pneumonias’ Etiology Among Refugees and Lebanese population (PEARL) research study to evaluate the proportion and distribution of viral and bacterial community-acquired pneumonia in refugee and Lebanese populations. This study will provide an evidence base to evaluate epidemiological risks, design public health interventions, and develop effective treatments during a humanitarian crisis.
In 2017, the first Middle East and North Africa regional conference on public health and infectious diseases was held in Beirut by the Mérieux Foundation in association with the Lebanese Society for Infectious Diseases and Clinical Microbiology, The Lancet Infectious Diseases medical journal, the Middle Eastern Office of the Francophone University Association and the ESA Business School.
In response to the current refugee crisis stemming from the Syrian civil war, the Mérieux Foundation is helping to build a medico-social center in the Bekaa region in northeast Lebanon to provide medical care, health education, and assistance for both Syrian refugees and Lebanese families in need.