The purpose of this projects is to increase resilience and reduce infant morality rates through providing better care for pregnant women delivering in Palestinian Red Crescent Society Lebanon Branch hospitals by increasing knowledge on personal care during pregnancies and for new-borns, and making improvements in Palestinian Red Crescent Society Lebanon Branch hospitals. Palestinian refugees in Lebanon have few rights and live in poverty, where illness and infant mortality are high, the latter at 19 per 1000 live births and neonatal deaths at 14 per 1000 live births. Access to prenatal care is low, and the influx of Syrian refugees further strains the health care systems of the UNRWA and Palestinian Red Crescent Society Lebanon Branch, which are responsible for Palestinians. The UNRWA subsidises the Palestinian Red Cross in Lebanon’s hospitals for births, but the Red Cross hospitals remain underfunded and do not have the capacity to treat complicated births due to inadequate equipment and staff knowledge. The project centres on five Palestinian Red Crescent Society in Lebanon Branch hospitals in Saida, Beirut, Tyre, Tripoli, and Beqaa.
In order to educate pregnant women, and given Palestine Red Crescent Society Lebanon Branch’s minimal role in primary health care, it will be engaged by the Netherlands Red Cross in creating one-to-one health education sessions for women before, during, and after birth, augmenting primary health services provided by UNRWA and Medical Aid for Palestinians, which also provides services to Palestinian refugees. Structural improvements in Palestinian Red Crescent Society Lebanon Branch hospitals will also be made along with equipment upgrades, and staff will receive training in hygienic delivery methods, neonate care, and how to use new equipment.
The project targets all women delivering in Palestinian Red Crescent Society Lebanon Branch hospitals, who will benefit from improvements in staff training and hospital infrastructure.