By Libya Herald reporters.
Tripoli, 30 January 2017:
Tripoli’s main children’s hospital is so broke it has only managed to keep its emergency power generators working thanks to an anonymous donation of fuel.
With little or no money coming from the government, despite repeated requests for official support, the Al-Jalaa children’s hospital with its neonatal unit has resorted to an urgent public appeal for funds.
The hospital’s Fatima Al-Bakoush, told Panorama TV it treated at least 2000 patients a month. However, because it had no money for nurses it had been forced to cut back to just 60 nursing beds. It also still needed a new post-natal unit and laboratory and dialysis equipment.
Al-Jalaa, the largest state maternity hospital in western Libya, which also deals with female diseases, is so hard up, it could even be forced to close. A crisis committee of healthcare officials and members of non-governmental associations has been setup.
“Members of the committee will voluntarily use their social media networks to seek financial support for the hospital, in cooperation with its administration, ” Salem Shakika, member of the committee from the Suq Al-Juma Council of Elders, told the Libya Herald.
He added that the hospital would be aiming for donations that would enable it to operate at a minimum level, such was precariousness of their financial situation.
Three weeks ago an anonymous benefactor paid for fuel after the hospital’s power generator ran out. In recent months Tripoli has suffered daily from long power cuts.
The tragedy is that it is mostly low-income families who use the hospital. Those who can afford private care steer clear of Al-Jalaa because of its plummeting levels of care. A year ago a child died there from Swine Flu and the hospital has also come under fire for poor standards of cleanliness.