February 23, 2019
Washington, D.C.- Earlier this week, SAMS Goodwill Ambassador Amber Heard joined our women’s health mission to Lebanon, targeting Syrian refugee women and underserved local communities who have limited access to the treatment they need. During her visit, Amber visited informal settlements for Syrian refugees living in the Beka’a Valley and a local hospital in Tripoli where SAMS Volunteers performed surgeries – including ovarian cancer and abdominal myomectomy procedures – in addition to providing cervical cancer screenings for women struggling to access these lifesaving services. Despite the harsh conditions these women live in and a lack of access to basic care, these women have demonstrated a great deal of strength and resilience and continue to inspire us all.
“The conditions here [in the informal settlements] are pretty tragic and meanwhile you go in and you see life. You see so much humanity. You go into their homes and they are eager to share what they have, which is virtually nothing. They’re brimming with life, and what appears to be hope… It’s been a moving trip,” said Amber.
From February 17- 22, 33 SAMS Volunteers from the United States and beyond traveled to Lebanon on a SAMS medical mission to provide women’s health services, cervical screenings, and other related care to those who need it the most in Tripoli and Beka’a Valley. In just six days, SAMS volunteers treated 804 patients, conducted 79 surgeries and 237 cervical cancer screenings, and delivered two babies.
Amber has been a fearless supporter for those who have been uprooted from their homes and have been denied basic and fundamental human rights such as healthcare. She has long advocated for women’s empowerment and ensuring the voices of those in need are heard by all.
SAMS is grateful to partner with Amber to amplify voices of displacement, while supporting our efforts to ensure no patient is left untreated.