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In Lebanon, deterioration of health system endangers cancer patients' lives

Faced with the shortage of medication and the increase in hospital costs, cancer patients in Lebanon are finding it increasingly difficult or impossible to afford treatment.
Demonstrators carry placards during a gathering by cancer patients to protest against the shortage of medicine that is threatening the treatment of tens of thousands of patients, outside the headquarters of the United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Western Asia, Beirut, Lebanon, Aug. 26, 2021.

BEIRUT — As Lebanon experiences the most extensive economic and financial crises in its history, cancer patients find themselves in an unbearable situation where lifesaving medicine is becoming too expensive or is not available on the market. This is the case for Rima, a 51-year-old nurse diagnosed with stage 4 advanced breast cancer who is in constant search of the necessary medication for her treatment.

“With the shortage of medicine, I have already missed many doses, which have forced me to postpone several of my chemotherapy sessions,” she told Al-Monitor.

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