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Libya: MSF Expands Support to Tripoli Hospitals
August 26, 2011
Over the past 48 hours, Doctors Without Borders/Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) has been continuing to assess medical facilities in Tripoli and has begun to provide medical support.
An MSF team assessed three health care facilities, all of which were suffering from massive shortages of lifesaving medical supplies and equipment. MSF provided dressing materials for the treatment of the wounded, as well as antibiotics, anesthetics, and painkillers. Some health facilities also requested surgical equipment, such as external fixators and oxygen, which MSF will provide in the next few days.
Hospitals in Tripoli are receiving an increasing number of severe trauma cases. One of the clinics treated 100 wounded patients in the first day of violence breaking out. In the past few days, 90 cases of compound fractures have been treated in this clinic.
Health facilities do not have the infrastructure and systems to cope with an emergency on this scale, especially in terms of the triage of emergency cases, and in terms of numbers of beds in intensive care units and post-operative care wards. MSF is preparing to expand its support to hospitals and clinics in the next few days with additional medical staff.
The MSF team will try to access other medical facilities across the city in coming days, as the security situation permits. In Tripoli, MSF currently has three staff on the ground, who will shortly be joined by MSF medical teams from Tunisia and other locations in Libya.
Emergency Response in Zawiyah and Zlitan
MSF has also sent medical teams to Zlitan, east of Tripoli, and to Al Zawiyah, in the west, to support hospitals faced with an influx of wounded. In Zawiyah, MSF surgical and medical teams are supporting the hospital, particularly the operating theater, the intensive care unit, and the resuscitation rooms. On August 22, 60 injured were admitted to Zawiyah hospital, and another 40 were admitted two days later. The wounded are now coming from Tripoli and the area along the road between Tripoli and Zawiyah.
In Zlitan, MSF has donated surgical equipment, drugs, and medical material. In the next few days, an MSF nurse, anesthetist and gynecologist will also begin working alongside Libyan medical staff in the hospital.
Other MSF Activities in Libya
MSF has been working in Yefren hospital since June 15, providing staff, medical supplies, and equipment to support the emergency room, the operating theaters, and the post-operative care unit. MSF saw the numbers of wounded double between July and August, but the situation in and around Yefren is now calmer. In Zintan, MSF is providing psychological support in health centers to people affected by the violence.
A number of the injured have also been transferred from Tripoli to hospitals in Misrata hospitals. In Qasr Ahmed hospital, where MSF has been providing surgical care since April, six people wounded in the capital were admitted on August 24. MSF also continues to provide mental healthcare and physiotherapy in Misrata to patients who have undergone surgery and to assist a number of medical facilities with gynecological and obstetric care. MSF continues to run a mental health program and to provide essential medical care in prisons as well.
In Benghazi, MSF is providing psychological support to patients, in particular to internally displaced people living in camps around the city. A transfer to an MSF-run hospital in Amman, Jordan, has been organized for patients needing reconstructive surgery. Four people wounded in previous fighting left Benghazi for Amman on August 24.