As part of the Science in the Community Seminar Series, the School of Health Sciences organized a round table discussion on “The Importance of Public Health in Lebanon and the Middle East” which was held on Tuesday March 8th, 2016 in Beirut Campus. The round table discussion was facilitated by Dr. Nael Alami, the Vice President for Research and Innovation, who hosted the Director General of the Ministry of Public Health Dr. Walid Ammar.
Dr. Alami opened the discussion by stressing on the importance of Public Health in shaping our daily lives and left the floor to Dr. Ammar who talked about the past, present and future status of Public Health. Dr. Ammar emphasized on the role of Public Health in facing natural and man-made disasters and dealing with pandemics and epidemics at the National and International levels. He discussed the role of Public Health in the current emerging situations in Lebanon such as the Syrian Refugees crises and its effect on health, economy, and education sectors. This is in addition to the adverse effects of waste mismanagement on our health. Dr. Ammar has informed the students on the recent activities carried out by the Ministry of Public Health in terms of vaccinations, health awareness campaigns, and safety inspections in food service organizations. He highlighted the important role of Public Health professionals and their prospects in the Lebanese community and the vast career opportunities they have. He ended the discussion by giving a brief overview of the gap analysis of the Lebanese Public Health system and resources needed.
More than 50 attendees were present including faculty, staff and students majoring in Public Health and Nutrition and Dietetics. Students in the School of Health Sciences shared all their thoughts with Dr. Ammar and were mainly focused on the topics highlighted in the very interactive discussion.