On Monday 12th October, EMERGENCY NGO opened a Surgical Centre for War Victims in Gernada, Libya.
EMERGENCY's intervention was requested four months ago by the Ministry of Health of the government of Tobruk (stationed in Al-Bayda), to guarantee treatment for war victims forces in the areas of Benghazi and Derna, where ISIS-affiliated militias and government forces are fighting.
The Surgical Centre for War Victims
The war in Libya began in 2011 and has since seriously damaged the country's healthcare system: there's a lack of resources and personnel needed for basic and specialised assistance, even for the most vulnerable groups such as children.
At the beginning of the conflict, foreign medical staff - fundamental for the healthcare system to work properly - left the Country, and most of the local personnel escaped or were dismissed from their roles.
The reduction in oil exports and the crash of the financial system have had a devastating effect on the country's economy, leading to a dramatic fall in the funds available for health.
The progressive deterioration of safety conditions prevents those who need treatment from being able to access it, especially in the areas of Benghazi, Derna, Zintane and Kikla.
That's why, last June, the Ministry of Health of the Tobruk government made hospital facilities in the village of Gernada (about 70km from Derna and 150km from Benghazi) available to EMERGENCY. The staff of EMERGENCY fitted out the structure and brought it up to EMERGENCY's standards: the hospital now has two operating theatres, an X-ray room, an intensive care ward, a laboratory, an emergency area and 18 beds for patients.
At the Centre, the NGO’s international staff works alongside the local staff nominated by the Ministry of Health.
Apart from treating war victims, the EMERGENCY staff will also train local staff and manage activities until conditions of working autonomy have been reached.
To maintain its neutral position (as in all its projects), EMERGENCY has established contacts in recent months with the authorities of Zintane and Misurata too, supplying medicines as requested.
Other EMERGENCY NGO projects in Libya
In 2011, during the first month of the conflict, EMERGENCY sent two war surgery teams to assist the Hikmat hospital and the Zarrok field hospital of the city of Misurata, which was already under siege.