Three teams of medical specialists deployed to Libya’s capital amid continuing conflict have performed 144 major and 104 minor surgeries in their first three weeks of deployment alone.
The teams, which include general surgeons, orthopaedic surgeons, a vascular surgeon and anaesthesiologists, were deployed to Tripoli by the World Health Organization (WHO) to help hospitals there cope with the mounting casualties after fighting broke out in the capital in early April. According to the WHO, more than 300 people had died and more than 1,600 were wounded by late April.
“The hospitals are overwhelmed with injured people requiring surgery,” says Dr Hussein Hassan, Health Emergencies Team Lead for WHO Libya. “WHO’s emergency medical teams are helping them save lives.”
WHO Libya is also co-ordinating the distribution of medical supplies and providing other support to Tripoli health facilities that are serving thousands of people displaced by bombing and shelling.
“We want to make sure that health facilities are prepared to serve the displaced,” says Dr Hassan. “These are people who fled their homes and are now living in crowded conditions, often old schools. We need to stock the primary and secondary health facilities that are closest to them, and make sure they have enough staff and resources.”