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In an attempt to facilitate the access of refugees to health services in host countries, the Global Health Institute (GHI)
at the American University of Beirut (AUB) launched the ‘Sijilli’ project in July 2018. The project was launched as a response to the increasing need for an innovation that allows refugees - and their health providers - to access health information, wherever they are in the world, in a highly secure manner.
Sijilli is a cloud-based Mobile Electronic Health Record (EHR) characterized by its contextualized design, applicability in low-resource settings, and potential for upscaling. It aims to serve as a model to securely collect and maintain health data of refugees throughout their displacement journey. The Sijilli EHR can be accessed globally by both refugee patients and their health providers.
The project is a partnership between the AUB GHI, Epic (a globally leading healthcare software company) and a network of local non-governmental organizations (NGOs) in all areas across Lebanon including Beirut, South of Lebanon, North of Lebanon, and Bekaa.
The celebration of the completion of the first phase took place on March 3rd, 2020 in the Halim and Aida Daniel Academic and Clinical Center (ACC) in the presence of the AUB’s president, Dr. Fadlo R. Khuri, GHI Founding Director, Dr. Shadi Saleh, and Chief Executive Officer of Epic Systems, Ms. Judith R. Faulkner. The event was also attended by AUB’s leadership, faculty members from both AUB and AUB Medical Center, and representation from the Epic team, local and international NGOs, and donor agencies among others.
‘Sijilli is envisioned as a much-needed model to enhance access of refugees to health services throughout their migration journey’, said Dr. Shadi Saleh. ‘We, at the Global Health Institute, are proud to streamline eHealth solutions in low- and middle-income countries’, he added.
AUB President Dr. Fadlo R. Khuri stressed
on the role of the university in the humanitarian sector “Since it was founded over a century and a half ago, it has always put humanity first, while playing its role as a provider of excellence in education and a contributor in the advancement of knowledge through research. It has been at our core."
Dr. Khuri’s point was shared by CEO and Founder of Epic Systems Ms. Judith R. Faulkner who stated 'I visited a refugee camp today and it was a memorable experience both hopeful and sad. Thank you AUB and GHI for having the heart to help people in need'.
The event also featured presentations on the technical development of the cloud-based EHR Sijilli presented by Epic development lead for Sijilli Mr. Amlan Dasgupta and the IT director of the AUB medical center processes and systems department Mr. Joe Max Wakim, and another on the field-based implementation of Sijilli by the project’s coordinators at both AUB GHI and Epic, Mrs. Nour El Arnaout and Mr. Jeff Harman. The role of NGOs in the implementation of Sijilli was also shared during the event by the founder of Malaak NGO Mrs. Asma Rasamny, followed by the perspective of one of Sijilli’s volunteers on the invaluable field-based experience offered by the Sijilli project that engaged more than 50 volunteers from different universities across Lebanon.
The celebration was followed by a live webinar on the ‘Global State of Digital Health 2020: Opportunities and Challenges of Implementation in LMICs delivered by the Co-founder and Policy Lead of HealthEnabled in South Africa Dr. Patricia Michael.