Lebanon’s Ministry of Public Health and the Mérieux Foundation sign a memorandum of understanding for the reinforcement and coordination of the Lebanese laboratory system
Dr Firas Abiad, the Lebanese Minister of Public Health and Alain Mérieux, President of the Mérieux Foundation, have signed a memorandum of understanding with the aim of defining the national policy for public health laboratories in the country. This national laboratory policy will help to ensure the evolution of the health system and improve the health of the Lebanese population.
Meeting at the Mérieux Foundation headquarters in Lyon (France), both parties reaffirmed their desire to develop a working relationship to strengthen the health system in Lebanon. Signing the agreement will allow them to define the terms and conditions of this collaboration. The event was attended by Dr Firas Abiad, Lebanon’s Minister of Public Health, Dr Nadeen Hilal, senior consultant in internal medicine and rheumatology at the Ministry of Public Health (MOPH), Dr Pierre Anhoury, consultant at the MOPH, Dr Alissar Rady, National Professional Officer at the World Health Organization (WHO) in Lebanon, Alain Mérieux, President of the Mérieux Foundation, Jean-Pierre Bosser, Director General of the Mérieux Foundation, Dr François-Xavier Babin, Director of International Operations at the Mérieux Foundation and Dr Josette Najjar-Pellet, Middle East Regional Manager at the Mérieux Foundation.
This national laboratory policy will define all the strategies set out by the Ministry of Public Health to guarantee the effectiveness of the country’s laboratory services as they contribute towards the diagnosis, monitoring and prevention of diseases, and epidemics in particular.
Thanks to its in-depth knowledge of the health system in Lebanon, the Mérieux Foundation has been officially appointed operational and technical partner and is making its expertise in the reinforcement of diagnostic capacities available to the Ministry of Public Health. It will support the Ministry, the World Health Organization (WHO) and other parties involved with the evaluation and mapping of the current laboratory system and the establishment of a national laboratory policy.
“We have many years of experience in developing laboratory networks, increasing the number of outstanding laboratories and supporting collaboration between them across the world. Doing so in Lebanon is a great achievement for us,” underlined Alain Mérieux, President of the Mérieux Foundation.
“We would like to thank you for your commitment and the support provided by the Mérieux Foundation, not only with this laboratory policy, but also something that I feel is extremely important and vital for the smooth operation of the public health system: that is, the organization of laboratories and public safety thanks to these reference laboratories,” said Dr. Firas Abiad, the Lebanese Minister of Public Health.
Present in Lebanon since 2008, the Mérieux Foundation develops activities in the country to improve living and health conditions for vulnerable, isolated or refugee populations, such as the primary healthcare center built in Duris, in the Beqaa Valley, with the MOPH and the association Amel International. The Mérieux Foundation also works to strengthen research and access to diagnosis, particularly for tuberculosis as part of the National TB program, and for respiratory diseases.
About the Lebanese Ministry of Public Health
Lebanon’s Ministry of Public Health (MOPH) works in partnership with stakeholders from various sectors to develop its institutional capacity for the effective management of the health sector, to ensure the provision of equitable and efficient health services in the public and private sectors.
The MOPH has adopted a cross-sector approach to achieving its main objectives: to play the role of insurer to protect the population’s health through legislation and the development of programs to promote health; to improve access to healthcare by ensuring equity in service availability for the most vulnerable groups and by improving the quality and cost-effectiveness of health services; to educate the general public and raise their awareness of healthy lifestyles in order to encourage more people to participate more effectively in health programs; to promote the development of human resources in the healthcare sector, and to upgrade health facilities. The Lebanese Ministry of Public Health and the World Health Organization have taken the initiative to draw up a national strategy for the health sector. By establishing an implementation plan fulfilling immediate healthcare requirements as well as more long-term objectives, Vision 2030 sets out the framework for the sustainable and modernized recovery of the healthcare sector and addresses the challenges linked with the management of a health system in crisis.