Why are we there?
- Armed conflict
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This is an extract from MSF's 2015 International Activity Report:
Since the end of the Muammar Gaddafi regime in 2011, Libya has been divided by armed conflict and the violence has escalated in recent years.
Libya had two governments: one based in the east in Tobruk, which was internationally recognised, and the other based in the west in Tripoli.
In 2015, the Islamic State group took control of the coastal city of Sirte and established a presence in several other cities such as Derna, while fighting continued between political factions in several areas. As a result, it became extremely difficult to maintain medical and drug supplies, foreign health workers evacuated and many hospitals and clinics were unable to function properly. However, MSF donated drugs and vaccines to hospitals in the cities of Al Beyda and Al Marj, and also improved hygiene conditions at Al Qubba hospital in the east.
MSF donated materials such as chlorine, masks and protective gloves to the local crisis committee at Al Marj, which is near the Mediterranean coast, to help cope with the bodies washing up on the shore there – people who had drowned while attempting to cross the sea.
As armed conflict continued in Benghazi, MSF increased the capacity of Al Abyar field hospital, located 60 kilometres from the city, so that it could stabilise the wounded. The team provided training in emergency care management in Al Abyar and Al Marj hospitals. MSF donated drugs to the only three functional hospitals in Benghazi, including Benghazi paediatric hospital, and provided regular donations to diabetic and renal centres. Between July and November, MSF distributed food to 2,400 displaced families in partnership with a Libyan NGO.
In November, MSF started supporting Zuwara hospital in western Libya with drugs, medical supplies, training and staff.
At the end of 2015, MSF had 140 staff in Libya. MSF began work in Libya in 2011.
Abdul, 13 years old
Abdul suffered second-degree burns after a bottle of benzene caught fire when bombs hit the house next to his. Three days after receiving care in a Misrata clinic, he was evacuated to a Tunisian hospital. Ten days later, he could open his eyes again.
Ali, 45 years old
Ali had been diabetic for many years. During the fighting, he was unable to receive his treatment as Misrata hospital was overwhelmed with so many seriously injured patients that it could no longer care for the chronically ill. The interruption to Ali’s treatment caused skin lesions to appear on his feet. After his evacuation from Misrata, Ali had two toes and the front of one foot amputated.