Abou Faour Orders Immediate Closure of all Unlicensed Daycares

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Health Minister Wael Abou Faour announced on Thursday that he signed a decree ordering the immediate closure of all unlicensed daycares in Lebanon given the recent child deaths at such facilities in the country in recent months.

He revealed during a press conference that there are around 300 daycares in the country, 205 of which were unlicensed.

Following a Health Ministry warning, now 85 daycares are licensed and meet necessary requirements.

He revealed that he had initially sent warnings to daycares ordering them to improve their conditions before June, but parents objected to the measure because they could not care for their children during the day.

The June deadline would have coincided with the end of the school year.

“I decided to annul that decision following the recent deaths at daycares,” Abou Faour announced.

“We will no longer tolerate any accidents. This issue is not up for debate,” he stressed.

“Parents who complain of our measure should place their children's safety and health first,” he stated.

“This step does not mean that licensed daycares would be immune,” he warned.

The minister said that there were some “worrying” discoveries at the licensed nurseries, saying that they will be tackled by his ministry's inspectors.

The judiciary on Wednesday ordered the arrest of the owner of a nursery school in the Ajaltoun area in connection with last week's mysterious death of a child at the facility.

Mount Lebanon's prosecutor ordered the arrest of the Clarina et Zoe daycare's owner over the death of child Elio Salloum.

Four-month-old Elio was announced dead on arrival at Saint George hospital in Ajaltoun.

The cause and date of death are still unknown.

Abou Faour said that the Clarina et Zoe daycare was unlicensed, present at a school, and its employees were not qualified.

On Salloum's death, he revealed: “According to the daycare's account the child was fed, put to sleep, but a few minutes later he was discovered bleeding from the nose. He was later transferred to hospital, but he passed away.”

On the Dima daycare in Beirut's Hay al-Sellom area, the minister said: “Its employees prevented Health Ministry inspectors from entering, ordering them to consult with political parties before coming to it.”

The facility was therefore shut down, he stressed.

On Friday, Abou Faour referred to the Public Prosecution the case of the death of the child Jana Hussein Deeb at Dima daycare.

She died on March 16 in mysterious circumstances at the nursery.



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