09-08-2011 08:54 AM CET - Politics, Law & Society

DEMIRA - Current situation of medical care in Libya

Press release from: DEMIRA Deutsche Minenräumer e.V.
Picture: DEMIRA
Picture: DEMIRA
Munich, 02/08/2011. The German non-governmental organisation DEMIRA e.V. is in Benghazi assessing the supply situation on the ground in order to organise a further shipment of aid. On the 29th July DEMIRA programme manager Marcia Hamzat accompanied a medical aid delivery which was then distributed from the central medical storage facility to hospitals and clinics in the area. Our DEMIRA staff member was able to gain a first-hand overview of the situation.

In connection with the official visit by delegates of the German-African Business Association, led by Parliamentary State Secretary of the German Economics Ministry, Hans-Joachim Otto, DEMIRA's Emergency Response Unit delivered relief supplies to Benghazi.

After delivering the medical aid supplies to the central medical storage facility in Benghazi, Marcia Hamzat gathered information on the current situation in the region and the level of medical care in the local hospitals. According to the director of Hawari General Hospital in Benghazi, the first shortages in supplies could be felt five months ago, and for the last three months local hospitals have not had any medical equipment at all. As a consequence of the lack of new supplies the clinics are operating at only 50 percent of their total capacity.

“The greatest difficulty for medical care, after the lack of transport facilities, is the acute shortage of medicines, surgical instruments, bandages and consumable supplies, and spare parts for medical equipment, as well as medical staff,” says Marcia Hamzat after speaking with the Minister of Health of the Libyan National Transitional Council.

Patients are either receiving insufficient treatment, or none at all. According to information from the National Transitional Council, since the beginning of the civil uprising in Libya about 4,000 rebels have been killed and another 5,000 to 6,000 seriously and 30,000 less seriously injured. Three hundred people have had to have amputations. Among followers of the regime the death toll stands at an estimated 6,000 to 7,000 deaths.

Due to continuing wartime conditions, clinics are no longer able to obtain the necessary supplies, the day-to-day functioning of hospitals is dependent to a large extent on aid shipments from neighbouring countries, NGOs, and from Libyans outside the country. The majority of hospital nurses were foreigners who since the beginning of the uprising have steadily been leaving the country. Further difficulties have been caused by the lack of sufficient water supply and the largely damaged electricity and telecommunications networks.

DEMIRA's Emergency Response Unit has been active in Libya since the end of July and depends on donations for continuing its operations.

Donations Account Number: 131516, Stadtsparkasse München, Sort Code 701 500 00

DEMIRA e.V. is a humanitarian, charitable, non-governmental organisation (NGO), which is non-religious and politically independent. It was founded in 1996 in order to provide humanitarian mine clearance, EOD (explosive ordnance disposal), and emergency medical aid to people living in postwar countries and to victims of natural disasters and civil unrest. DEMIRA provides relief irrespective of race, sex, religion, or political orientation.

Hartmannstraße 8
80333 Munich
Tel.: +49 / 89 / 29165620
Fax: +49 / 89 / 29165619
Mariem Pusina
Fundraising and Public Relations
E-mail: mariem.pusina@demira.org
Web: www.demira.org

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