SDG 3: Good Health

Introduction


The Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) or Global Goals are a collection of 17 interlinked goals designed to be a "blueprint to achieve a better and more sustainable future for all". The SDGs, set in 2015 by the United Nations General Assembly and intended to be achieved by the year 2030, are part of a UN Resolution called the 2030 Agenda or what is colloquially known as Agenda 2030.

The SDGs will shape national development plans over the next 15 years. From ending poverty and hunger to responding to climate change and sustaining our natural resources, food and agriculture lies at the heart of the 2030 Agenda.


The 2030 Development Agenda is an action plan for people, the planet and prosperity. It is also intended to strengthen universal peace within a broader concept of freedom. The adoption of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) represents a historic opportunity to unite countries and people around the world and embark on new paths into the future. The SDGs are formulated to eradicate poverty, promote prosperity and well-being for all, protect the environment and address climate change globally.


The 17 Sustainable Development Goals and their 169 targets are integrated and indivisible, global in scope and universally applicable, take into account the different realities, capacities and levels of development of each country and respect their national policies and priorities.


Specifically, Sustainable Development Goal 3 (SDG 3 or Global Goal 3) is about "Good health and well-being". Which is essential to sustainable development. There is an urgent need to fully eradicate a wide range of diseases and address many different persistent and emerging health issues. Similarly, the idea is to determine how universities deal with specific conditions and diseases, and support their academic community. This Goal focused on the importance of ensuring that everyone enjoys healthy lifestyles and well-being at all ages, in order to reach a world free of physical and psychological diseases that can be achieved through high-quality health care systems that provide coverage and protection for all.


Specifically, in Lebanon, remarkable progress has been made in terms of increasing life expectancy, reducing the spread of some fatal diseases, and improving access to quality health care services. However, more efforts should be made to improve people’s health and provide affordable health care for all.


With this in mind, The Lebanese University is a free non-profit public university in Lebanon ranked # 3746 worldwide in terms of education. The creation of the Lebanese University was an idea first mentioned in the speech of the former Minister of Foreign Affairs, Hamid Frangieh during the closing ceremony of the Third UNESCO Conference in Beirut held on 11 December 1948, during which he said: "Lebanon hopes to see the creation of a Lebanese university having the spirit of UNESCO".


The Lebanese University is the only public institution in Lebanon carrying out the functions of the public higher education with its various majors and degrees, scientific research, and continuous training through: the dissemination of knowledge and culture, the provision of scientifically qualified human resources, community service through studies and continuous training to meet the needs of development, the scientific presence at the national, regional and global levels, the deepening social and national integration, and the instilling human values in the heart of citizens.


Since health is a right for every citizen, the Lebanese University (LU) is committed to involve the Ministry of Public Health and competent local and international institutions in achieving the goal of universal and collective health coverage through:

Counseling and awareness to prevent diseases;

Medical and primary care;

Concrete steps towards universal coverage of high-quality, safe and affordable healthcare that prioritizes the poor and low-income;

The role of the university through its various medical faculties and affiliated laboratories in strengthening capacities and systems for accurate and reliable epidemiological surveillance, emergency preparedness and response.

GOAL 3: Good Health and Well-being

Lebanon has consistently improved its health system and registered relatively favorable indicators, despite internal challenges and external shocks. The ministry of public health has developed and implemented plans, aimed at reaching the sustainable development goals, which build on past successes. Lebanon is controlling and preventing disease outbreaks and ensuring universal access to healthcare services. The quality and coverage of health services have been improving.

The ministry of public health has a network of 213 primary healthcare centers across the country, which provide services in collaboration with non-governmental organizations, the Ministry of Social Affairs, and municipalities, patients can see medical specialists at a reduced cost and receive basic and chronic disease medication and vaccines free Critical diseases such as cancer, multiple sclerosis and others are fully covered by the ministry of public health.

The strategy’s central goal for the ministry of public health is universal health coverage and it is based on the principle of ‘health as the right of each citizen’. Its strategic goals are: 1. to modernize and strengthen MoPH’s executive and related administrations. 2. to improve collective public health through prevention and promotion throughout the life cycle of each individual, and in all stages/phases of life. 3. to make concrete steps towards universal coverage of high quality, safe and affordable healthcare that priorities the poor and vulnerable. 4. to strengthen capacity and systems for timely, accurate and reliable epidemiological surveillance intelligence for public health security and emergency preparedness and response. ref: LEBANON- Voluntary National Review (VNR) on sustainable development goals (SDGs).

The Lebanese University cooperates with the Lebanese ministry of public health and several local and international organizations and institutions for public health and local hospitals in order to strengthen the relation between the academic sector and the public health sector and to respond to the Lebanese government strategy in this field. For this purpose, the Lebanese University established several cooperation agreements with ministry of public health and institutions working in Health sector, such as:

  • The Lebanese University established with the Lebanese Ministry of Public Health an agreement on 5 May 2018.

Aiming to develop the emergency primary healthcare restoration project related to family medicine specialists by providing advanced knowledge, skills and attitudes that are needed to provide comprehensive, continuous and appropriate health care to individuals and families.

  • The Lebanese University established an agreement with International Committee of the Red Cross on 4 December 2017

Aiming to improve the knowledge and skills of surgeons on the comprehensive clinical management of patients injured by firearms and explosive weapons with a focus on surgical techniques, related procedures and protocols.

  • The Lebanese University established an agreement with the World Health Organization on 6 September 2019.

In order to conduct analysis regarding food dishes that are commonly consumed in the Lebanese diet.

  • The Lebanese University established with the Chamber of Commerce, Industry and Agriculture of Tripoli and Northern Lebanon an agreement on 8 July 2013.

Aiming to check food health and products and write comments and analyses in accords the international standards.

  • The Lebanese University established an agreement with the International Organization for Migration on 25 September 2018

Aiming to provide an executive professional training course in psychosocial support, dialogue and social cohesion, to the students of the social sciences institute, as well as to offer a diverse overview of the most relevant topics related to the interrelation between psychosocial support, dialogue and social cohesion.

  • The Lebanese University established on 7 October 2019

With Beirut Marathon Association which is an NGO that aims to encourage youth people and especially students to run for a social issue, and to organize marathon yearly for this objective.

  • The Lebanese University had established at its campuses namely hadath campus to study the quality of medicine in Lebanon, and also to study diseases, viruses and bacteria causing illness agreement.

  • For the dental medicine, the Lebanese University had established agreement with the ministry of public health and participated to international conferences and symposi in order to exchange experiences in dentistry and recent materials used to improve practices, namely the symposia organized at the Lebanese University-Hadath campus on May 2017 website: https:www.ul.edu.lb

  • The Lebanese University established agreements with several hospitals in Lebanon enabling the students of the medical sciences faculty to develop their skills and knowledge by performing training and writing reports about diagnosed diseases, such as:

  1. -Nabih Berry University hospital an agreement was signed on 5 September 2015

  1. Cheikh Ragheb Harb Hospital an agreement was signed on 27 november 2014

3. Rafic Hariri University Hospital: an agreement was signed on 1 April 2019: this agreement concerns especially the Psychologists students from the faculty of human sciences.

  1. The American University of Beirut AUB, department of family medicine, an agreement was signed on 8 July 2019 aiming to deliver training program for general practitioners and to ensure training materials and logistic support.

5. Babda public hospital an agreement was signed on 1 November 2007.


  1. Getawi University Hospital an agreement was signed on 4 April 2014.



  1. AL Machrek Hospital

  1. Mount Lebanonhospital an agreement was signed on 2007



9. Beirut public hospital (Beirut public hospital)



  1. The Lebanese University established agreements with L’Assistance publique –Hopitaux de Paris signed on 28 February 2019

The Lebanese university is participating to a running Erasmus Project Key Action 2 CBHE entitled: ICU-Knowledge Triangle, Innovation: Reinforcing of Education- Research E-Health & Medical Links” (ICU-RERE) 609506-EPP-1-2019-1-SE-EPPKA2-CBHE

With the recent statement of the World Health Organization (WHO) warning the world to do more to prepare for a possible pandemic, in reference to the outbreak of the coronavirus, additional efforts are made in countries of the world to contain the spread of this virus.

In Lebanon, a "Corona Unit" headed by Dr. Mahmoud Hassoun (graduate of the Lebanese University - Faculty of Medical Sciences) was created in the Rafik Hariri University Hospital, where suspected cases are admitted.

The “Corona Unit” consists of a volunteer group of doctors from the Lebanese University - Faculty of Medical Sciences, working for free round-the-clock. The tasks of this unit include the initial examination up to the follow-up in the isolation room, in addition to its advisory and awareness role in the treatment and prevention of this virus .

The Lebanese University team consists of 14 doctors, including Layal Olaywan, Habib Jaafoury, Amani Khatib, Mohamad Bjeyji, Batoul Awada, Wael Zorkot, Sara Nahal, Mohamad Chit, Walaa Chreif, Safa Yassin, Houssein Toufayli, Ghadir Hayek, Zamzam Tikriti, Farah Wehbe, and Atef Akoum .

The President of the Lebanese University (LU), Prof. Fouad Ayoub discussed, during his meeting with the Faculty deans on 25 February 2020, the steps required to face coronavirus at the national and university levels.

During the meeting, Prof. Ayoub saluted the team of the Faculty of Medical Sciences at the Rafik Hariri University Hospital, revealing that "a group of students from other LU faculties are undergoing a preparatory training to volunteer and participate in the measures taken by the Ministry of Health (MoH) at the Rafik Hariri International Airport”.

Prof. Ayoub indicated that necessary arrangements will be secured to all LU faculties and branches to increase the sterilization procedures, as part of his participation in the Parliamentary Education Committee discussing the coronavirus implications.

Prof. Ayoub formed a university committee under his chairmanship to follow up the coronavirus issue. At the end of the meeting, the committee recommended circulating the instructions and directives issued by the LU University Medical Center to all faculties and branches in the regions and on its social media pages, in order to spread awareness on fighting and preventing coronavirus.

The Minister of Education & Higher Education, Dr. Tarek Majzoub, the Minister of Information, Dr. Manal Abdel Samad, President of the Lebanese University, Prof. Fouad Ayoub, and Director of Counseling and Guidance at the General Directorate of Education, Mrs. Hilda El-Khoury, launched an awareness campaign on 27 February 2020 on Coronavirus through rehabilitation and training sessions that include public school directors, and educational, professional, and university institutions .

The conference was attended by representatives of the Ministry of Health, UNICEF, WHO, and the Lebanese Red Cross, in addition to Ms. Jamal Baghdadi, Director of Secondary Education, Mr. George Daoud, Director of Primary Education, Mr. Gilbert Sokhen, Head of Mount Lebanon Educational District, Mr. Mohamed Homsi, Head of Beirut Educational District, and a number of public school principals .

The Minister of Education & Higher Education, Dr. Tarek Majzoub started the conference by emphasizing the importance of permanent and accurate prevention of Coronavirus and adherence to hygiene and sterilization standards, stressing the need to follow up the cases of student absence .

The Minister of Information, Dr. Manal Abdel Samad focused on the importance of Coronavirus awareness and prevention and the collaboration between relevant ministries, schools and universities, and pointed to the great role of the media in spreading awareness by conveying accurate information.

When coronavirus locked millions of people in their homes around the world to avoid infection, only the medical teams of various specializations appeared in the front lines, from initial examination and lab analysis to nursing and counseling management.

The hidden resources of the Lebanese University (LU) joined the front-liners at the Rafik Hariri University Hospital (RHUH), increasing the number of nurses and laboratory staff supporting “Corona Unit” from 14 to 17 doctors with the addition of Dr. Silvana Hanna, Dr. Hadil Basma and Dr. Olfat Awwad from the LU - Faculty of Medical Science (FMS).

Dr. Awwad (internal medicine specialist) indicated that she joined "Corona Unit" a week ago, describing her short experience as "different" and stressing the importance of psychological support needed by coronavirus patients.

The Lebanese University allocated 50 rooms with a bathroom and kitchen in the Rafik Hariri University Campus - Hadath, on 10 April 2020 to the medical staff working at the “Corona Unit” in the Rafik Hariri University Hospital who wish to reside outside their homes throughout the general mobilization period.

As such, all health procedures and conditions that must be adopted to preserve the safety of residents in these rooms have been observed.

Under the patronage and presence of the Minister of Health, Dr. Hamad Hassan, and in cooperation with the Ministries of Health and Education, the Lebanese University (LU) launched on 2 March 2020 the student volunteer work to face coronavirus, in the Rafik Hariri University City, Hadath - Faculty of Medical Sciences (FMS).

The campaign was launched in the presence of LU President, Prof. Fouad Ayoub, the deans of LU medical faculties and a group of professors, specialists and large number of students.

The Minister of Health, Dr. Hassan saluted LU students, who gave an example by their national belonging to the Lebanese family facing coronavirus. He considered that the containment stage is very important and stressed that the compulsory home self-quarantine is key to confrontation.

Prof. Ayoub appreciated the national responsibility and exemplary education demonstrated by LU students amid this crisis. He stated that this campaign aims to "train the trainers" who will have a major role at the national and the LU levels, provided that their efforts complement the "Corona Unit" at the Rafik Hariri University Hospital. He explained that the training process will consist of surface disinfection at all LU faculties and branches and rehabilitation to address any suspected cases.

After nearly 48 hrs. to the Facebook post of Dr. Hussein El-Hajj Hassan to create an artificial respiratory device for coronavirus patients, the initiative met great positive interaction from specialists (engineers and doctors), relevant ministries of Industry and Health, and individuals (students and professionals).

The idea started with graduates of the Lebanese University - Faculty of Engineering (Branch 3, class of 2011), Hisham Issa (Electrical & Electronic Engineering), and Hussein Hamdan (Mechanical Engineering), after it was reported that Lebanon may face a shortage of artificial respiratory devices to refresh patients who are potentially infected with coronavirus.

Since Issa and Hamdan have been working outside Lebanon for about six years, they contacted their colleague in Lebanon, Dr. Hussein El-Hajj Hassan, graduate of and professor at the Faculty of Engineering (Communication Engineering, Branch 3) and they agreed to launch a project that could be manufactured locally with the help of specialists.

To accomplish the pilot designed device, the graduates indicated their need for a specialized technical team to help solve any troubleshoots that might arise, in addition to the importance of securing the raw materials to operate the device.

The graduates say: "The crisis that Lebanon is going through as a result of the coronavirus requires everyone to take part in assuming responsibilities, including our initiative, which focuses on securing a device with materials available in the Lebanese market and capable of securing the basic functions required in similar respiratory devices."

Under the patronage and presence of the Minister of Public Health, Dr. Hamad Hassan, the Lebanese University launched the "Lebanese University Task Force", in a ceremony held on 8 June 2020 at the Rafik Hariri University Campus - Hadath, Conference Hall.

The launching ceremony was attended by the Minister of Industry, Dr. Imad Hoballah, President of the Lebanese Red Cross, Dr. Antoine Al Zoghbi, Secretary-General of the Lebanese Red Cross, Mr. George Kettaneh, Secretary-General of the Supreme Council for Defense, Major General Mahmoud Al-Asmar, Director of the Rafik Hariri University Hospital, Dr. Firas Al Abyad, and the President of the Lebanese University, Professor Fouad Ayoub, in addition to a number of deans, directors, professors and a group of students.

The event, which observed the conditions for social distancing between the attendees and was presented by Dr. Roula Atoui from the Faculty of Medical Sciences, started with a presentation given by Dr. Hassan Salameh and Dr. Ghassan Al Awar (from the Faculty of Medical Sciences) explaining the tasks and structure of the "Task Force".

With the spread of the coronavirus and the increased number of patients in Lebanon and worldwide, the infection of the medical staff treating coronavirus patients posed a great challenge, according to officers of medical centers and hospitals.

Amid this situation, a group of students from the Lebanese University - Faculty of Science, consisting of Hassan Badran (first year Master in Informatics), Majd Dhainy, Hadi Zein El Din and Sami Shams El Din (3rd year, Informatics) and Zaher Chehadi (3rd year, Chemistry) under the supervision of Dr. Bassem Haidar and Dr. Siba Haidar decided to address the issue of robotics in the fight against coronavirus in Lebanon.

The design idea turned into reality when the student group went to Rafik Hariri University Hospital to meet with the Director, Dr. Firass Abiad, the head of the coronavirus unit, Dr. Layal Olaywan, Corona Unit Supervisor and Professor Ahmed Haidar from the "Isolation Unit" and familiarize with the needs of the medical staff and the facilities that this design can provide.

As a first step, the five students developed a prototype capable of replacing medical staff, serving meals and administering certain medications to patients. The robot has been designed in the form of a rolling table, remotely controlled and equipped with a camera allowing medical personnel to contact the patient by video call. Subsequently, the robot can be disinfected and is capable of performing additional tasks such as measuring the patient's temperature and moving autonomously .

The Lebanese University delivered on 6 May 2020, the V1 of the Robot “Lebot” to the “Corona Unit” at the Rafik Hariri University Hospital. Funded by the Lebanese University and developed by the students of the Faculty of Science in cooperation with “Rimo Manufacturing & Trading Est”, “Lebot” will be used to deliver food and medical supplies to patients or facilitate communications between the patients and the medical team via Video Call.

The robot was delivered in a press conference held in the presence of the Minister of Health, Dr. Hamad Hassan, the Minister of Industry, Dr. Imad Hoballah, the President of the Lebanese University, Professor Fouad Ayoub, the Director of the Rafik Hariri University Hospital, Dr. Firas Al Abyad, the Dean of the Faculty of Science, Professor Bassam Badran, the Dean of the Faculty of Medical Sciences, Professor Pierre Yared, the Head of the Neuroscience Research Center at the Faculty of Medical Sciences, Professor Youssef Fares, the Director of the Faculty of Science (Branch 1), Professor Yasser Mhanna, Dr. Bassem Haydar and Dr. Siba Haydar from the Faculty of Science, and the Project Supervisors, in addition to the students who participated in the robot design, Majd Dhainy, Hadi Zinedine, Sami Shams el-Din, Adel Hajj Hassan, Zaher Chehadi and Baker Naim.

Under the patronage of the President of the Lebanese Republic, General Michel Aoun, the National Center for the Quality of Medicine, Food, Water and Chemicals of the Lebanese University held its 2nd scientific conference entitled: "Pollution, Health Quality, Reality and Prospects - Field Studies & Research", at the Rafik Hariri University Compound - Hadath.

The conference was attended by Dr. Jamil Jabak, Minister of Public Health, representing the President of the Lebanese Republic, MP Qassem Hashem, representing the Speaker of Parliament, Mr. Nabih Berri, MP Assem Araji, representing the Prime Minister, Mr. Saad Hariri, Dr. Walid Safi, representing the Minister of Education & Higher Education, Mr. Akram Chehayeb, Professor Fouad Ayoub, President of the Lebanese University, Mrs. Alia Abbas, Director General of the Ministry of Economy, Dr. Sami Alawiyyeh, DG of Litani River Authority, representatives of the security services, ambassadors, and a number of deans, directors, professors, employees and students.

"Give, to Give Life" is the slogan of a voluntary initiative with humanitarian objectives initiated by the LU students – Faculty of Information, Branch 1 (1st year – Public Relations), within the framework of the applied part of the course (Public Relations & Advertising) under the supervision of Dr. Hatem Al-Zain [29].

The idea of the volunteer project started in November of the academic year (2019 - 2020), and turned into an awareness campaign for organ donation in cooperation with the “National Organization for Organ and Tissue Donation and Transplant” (NOD).

Dr. Al-Zain indicated that the volunteer team consisted of 15 students whose tasks were distributed in several directions among which:

  • Communicating with the Ministry of Health, doctors, religious authorities, and relevant organizations;

  • Designing the campaign slogan and preparing promotional posters;

  • Following up with media and advertising through social media;

  • Preparing all logistics necessary to launch the campaign.

On the occasion of World Cancer Day, the branch student council at the Lebanese University - Faculty of Public Health (Branch 1) organized a hair donation campaign on 11 February 2020 in cooperation with the Lebanese Breast Cancer Foundation (LBCF) and Patchouli Health & Beauty Clinic.

During the activity held at the Faculty building, several female students participated and donated part of their hair in support of cancer patients, and the campaign concluded with memorial photos.

The students of the medical faculties of the Lebanese University (Faculty of Medical Sciences, Faculty of Dental Medicine, Faculty of Pharmacy) organize a Health Day (MEDFEST 2020) focusing on mental health on 29 January 2020 at the Medical Faculties Square in the Rafic Hariri University Campus - Hadath.

MEDFEST 2020 will include awareness seminars on gum disease, medication, mental health, food, drug addiction and organ donation. The event will also include a blood donation campaign and a first aid maneuver.

A “Medical Games Zone” has been prepared in addition to various activities for those interested in learning about facts and medical sciences in an entertaining way.