By Libya Herald reporters.
Tripoli, 21 March 2016:
The international medical charity Medicins sans Frontieres has produced a grim assessment of the collapsing . . .[restrict]Libya health system, with more mothers dying giving birth and the widespread collapse of childhood immunisation.
MSF, which has now been operating in Libya for a year, also criticised the lack of other outside medical organisations.
“Despite the serious deterioration of the country’s health system, very few aid organisations are following MSF’s lead and providing help” said Malika Saim, the charity’s emergency coordinator.
MSF has not simply been supplying drugs and surgical consumables. It has also put its people into hospitals to give crash training to new staff, who are seeking to replace foreign medical personnel, many of whom have fled since civil conflict broke out in the summer of 2014.
It said its aim is to train head nurses on wards, in emergency departments and operating theatres, with the idea that they will in turn be able to instruct nurses who have only a few months experience.
MSF said that it has been supplying medicines to those hospitals that still functioning. It mentioned Misrata, Zuwara, Benghazi, Marj and Al Abyar, east of Benghazi. It noted that in the 12 months it has been working in the country, the health service at every level had deteriorated rapidly.
Saim noted that state-of-the-art equipment in hospitals was not working thanks to poor maintenance and a lack of spare parts. “It is a country where the problems are not immediately obvious, ” he said, “but so much is needed. You can really see how the health system has gone downhill since we started working here a year ago”.
MSF made no reference to the increasingly desperate appeals by the World Health Organisation to raise $50 million to deal with what is has described as the critical health needs of up to two and a half million people. As of January, less than $3 million had been given by the international community. [/restrict]