After visiting the US for the first time in March 2016, Mrs. Manal Eid, manager of the USAID-BALADI supported blood testing laboratory in Deir Eimar and a teacher of nursing at a vocational institute in Akkar started applying her gained experience to benefit her community in Minieh-Dinieh and Akkar districts.Mrs. Eid was nominated by USAID to attend an 18-day visit to the US to participate in the State Department funded International Volunteer Leadership Program for Regional Health Challenges: Research and Remedies. It was Mrs. Eid’s first foreign travel, and from March 7-25, 2016, Mrs. Eid with nine other health professionals from countries spanning the Near East and Northern Africa (Egypt, Jordan, Morocco, Oman, Saudi Arabia, and Tunisia) visited Washington, Baltimore, Cleveland, Akron, Chicago, and Portland and learned more about the challenges facing the global community in preventing, treating, and managing communicable diseases and chronic non-communicable diseases, and examined rural health practices.
Upon her return to Deir Eimar town and resuming her responsibilities at Deir Eimar blood testing lab (Minieh-Dinieh) and the nursing institute in Halba (Akkar), Mrs. Eid indicated that the visit offered her the chance to know more about public awareness campaigns and wellness programs and to learn more about the best practices when dealing with large numbers of internally displaced persons and refugees. Mrs. Eid already integrated the information she gained on diabetes, sexually transmitted diseases and vaccines in the nursing course she teaches at the vocational institute in Deir Eimar; around 25 students per year benefit from the course. Mrs. Eid is currently designing an awareness campaign on the same topics; up to four awareness sessions will be implemented after Ramadan Feast at the lab for 50 participants per session including Lebanese, Syrian and Palestinian refugees living in Deir Eimar and surroundings. A new mother, devoted wife, and a dedicated health professional in a vulnerable host community, Mrs. Eid exemplifies how Lebanese women are making a difference in serving and improving their communities. USAID-BALADI Project contributed $120,000 in equipment, machines, laboratory instruments, and staff training to establish Deir Eimar blood testing laboratory. To date, the laboratory serves 281 patients including 185 females.