P.E.I. doctor helps treat Syrian refugees in Lebanon clinics

Dr. Don Clark has returned to P.E.I. for a short visit after spending several months in Lebanon treating Syrian refugees.

Doctor set to return to Lebanon for two more months to continue working with Doctor Without Borders

Dr. Don Clark with a patient at one of the Doctors Without Borders Clinics in Lebanon. (Submitted by Don Clark)

A doctor from P.E.I. has returned for a short visit home after spending several months in Lebanon treating Syrian refugees.

Dr. Don Clark has worked with Doctors Without Borders since November and helped manage four clinics near the Syrian border.

"It's very difficult some days, yes, to do the best possible job under very trying circumstances and show the best possible respect for people when resources are limited," Clark said.

Clark's work day in Lebanon started early and ended late in the afternoon because it was not safe to travel after dark.

On average, he says 130 people a day are treated for everything from blood pressure to diabetes to maternal health care.

Social workers were also part the team and helped some of the refugees cope with what they have endured.

Syrian refugees live in this camp in Lebanon, near the Syrian border. (Submitted by Don Clark)

"They've lost everything. Their schools are gone. At home, their hospitals are gone. They've lost their way of life, their cities are sometimes flattened," Clark said.

He's humbled by the courage the refugees show, he said. Even outside of Syria, the refugees are often in the line of fire.

"These people aren't enemies or combatants," he said. "Ordinary people who don't want war. They just want to have a life."

"They are really a model for us all on how to cope with very distressing circumstances and I admire them greatly."

Clark will be heading back to Lebanon for two more months. In addition to managing the four clinics, he will be helping to establish a chronic disease management plan.

One of the Doctors Without Borders vehicles used to travel between clinics. (Submitted by Don Clark)


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