UNIFIL and its troop contributing countries have been supporting their Lebanese host communities with a plethora of assistance projects for the past 15 years.
The list is endless and includes infrastructure projects such as road improvements and water channels, renovation and rehabilitations of municipal buildings and schools, energy solutions such as solar installations, various training, and development courses from language to computer to taekwondo, veterinary services, and much more.
Amidst all these support and humanitarian projects, free medical services to the population of the south stands out as arguably the most consistent kind of assistance since the establishment of UNIFIL under Security Council Resolution 1701 in 2006.
Almost all UNIFIL contingents have provided and continue to provide such free medical care and the Indonesian contingent (INDOBATT) is one of them.
Just this last Tuesday, 30 August 2022, another medical camp was organized in the village of Bani Hayyan, south Lebanon. INDOBATT calls it a “routine” activity, but to the people of Bani Hayyan it is anything but routine. On this day 21 patients, ranging from children to the elderly, lined up to be seen by the Indonesian medical team, which consists of 1 doctor, 4 nurses and 1 ambulance driver.
The patients were diagnosed with dyspepsia, hypertension, osteoarthritis among other lesser ailments. A translator facilitated communication between the medical team and the patients. Medicine was prescribed and handed out to the patients, for free.
Apart from saving the villagers the cost of a doctor’s fee, receiving free medicine is an even greater aid, given the fact that Lebanon has essentially run out of most kind of medicaments due to the financial crisis.
1st Lieutenant Dr. Ario, of INDOBATT’s medical team, is proud to be helping the local population. "It is an obligation for a doctor to help others but being a doctor who is part of UNIFIL's peacekeeping mission is an honor for me", said Ario.
During the last 6 months the current INDOBATT medical team has seen and treated more than 300 patients in their area of operations in south Lebanon. While INDOBATT’s and most other contingent’s main task consists of patrolling the south and maintaining peace and stability, the small medical team continues to help where they can, as will the teams that will follow in their footsteps.