A 24-year old cancer patient, Fawzia Fayad, passed away on Thursday after struggling with cancer due to a shortage of cancer treatment.
Her death has caused much anger among Lebanese social media users since Fawzia had become well-known to the public. She was one of the few cancer patients in Lebanon who spoke up about the shortage of cancer medication.
She was also known for her activism during the nationwide protests on October 17, 2019.
Fawzia had everything to live for, paving her way to a successful future wait. At 24, she had already acquired her Master’s degree in Banking and finance and was running her online shop.
Fawzia had complained about all her concerns and anxiety at Lebanon’s failure to provide the necessary medication for cancer and other medicines for patients with chronic diseases.
During an appearance on TV, she demanded from the Minister of Public Health, Firas Abiad, to secure these much-needed drugs for cancer treatment.
Since the news of her death, blames and accusations have been pouring on the Lebanese authorities from social media users, specifically on the current Minister of Public Health.
“It is written that we die conquered in this country from lack of medicine, lack of conscience, lack of morals, and lack of mercy,” a Lebanese tweeted.
Cancer patients in Lebanon had previously protested on World Cancer Day (February 4), calling on the Lebanese officials to secure medicines for them.
During the protest, people smashed a wooden coffin, the “coffin of death” as they called it, in a symbolic move against the death they are facing every day without the needed medication.
The shortage of meds in Lebanon has been lingering for a while now like a looming threat of death on many patients whose lives depend on them.
The financial hardships and skyrocketing prices with the hyperinflation had brought many to also ration their intake of medicines. Lifting the subsidies came to add to their sufferings and many cancer patients had to also reduce their treatment or stop it altogether.
The grim situation keeps getting grimmer and grimmer by the day with no solution materializing and the state proving unable to create the much-needed reforms.
Lebanon appears to be stuck in a noose, needing funds to implement reforms and urged to implement reforms to acquire the funds from the IMF and the international community.