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“Gateway to Better Health”: Improving access to health care for vulnerable population in Lebanon

SIDC is implementing a two-year project called “Gateway to Better Health” with the support of L’EXPERTISE France-L’INITIATIVE to improve and expand access to high-quality, gender-inclusive HIV information, care, and treatment services, as well as to create a better environment for vulnerable populations in Lebanon and advocate for their health rights. 

As a result of this endeavour, SIDC will be able to strengthen its services to vulnerable communities all over Lebanon. It also seeks to build the capacity of healthcare professionals to improve the accessibility of existing services and advocate for the recognition of populations’ rights by the Lebanese health authorities and society. 

SIDC, as an implementer of this project, convened a steering committee meeting on December 20th, 2022, with its partners (SALAMA – DAR Al AMAL – AJEM) and representatives from various stakeholders such as the National AIDS Program, the National Mental Health Program, the University of Saint-Joseph, and the Lebanese university to discuss all activities related to the new project.

At the beginning of 2023, SIDC held a three-day training for 18 peer educators from three distinct NGOs in Lebanon: Dar al AMAL, SALAMA, and SIDC.

The training took place on January 25th, 26th, and 27th, 2023, to increase their understanding of HIV/STIs, Human and Gender Rights, Inclusion and Diversity, Mental Health, and Substance Abuse.

Following this training, implementers will conduct more than 20 outreach field visits per month to improve the environment for vulnerable populations in Lebanon by expanding access to high-quality services.

On another hand, SIDC purchased a mobile unit to strengthen the field outreach activity that has started in March.

Since November and until the end of March, SIDC and partners provided 190 MHPSS and 180 educational sessions to the vulnerable populations through professional psychologists and social workers.

In collaboration with the NAP and all partners, SIDC is in the process of conducting a service mapping study and developing referral guidelines for the medical, mental and social services for PLHIV and vulnerable populations, and recruited a media researcher to document all human rights violations that occurs by media professional on Visual and Audiovisual Media and Read/Written Media.

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