News / Africa

Doctors, Nurses Continue to Provide Care at Damaged Sirte Hospital

Al Pessin

The destruction of Moammar Gadhafi's hometown, Sirte, during Libya's revolution included significant damage to the city's main hospital, where a small crew of intrepid doctors and nurses continues to provide care.

In the wanton destruction of Sirte, even the Ibn a-Sina hospital was a target.

This is the hospital's main operating room. Dr. Abdulla Etbiga explains what happened. “The last operation was here. When we finished the operation, after maybe 30 minutes, 40 minutes, this happened," he said.

An artillery shell or rocket propelled grenade came through the wall. No one was injured, but the operating room is unusable and all of its equipment and supplies were destroyed.

Dr. Etbiga, a general surgeon, did all kinds of operations beyond his specialty during the worst of the fighting. And with most of the staff gone, he became the hospital's acting director. “We need everything on your mind, because we have nothing, or we have, but not enough," he said.

Dr. Etbiga says that during the worst of the fighting there were only a few doctors and nurses to care for the wounded. He says several people died because there was no anesthesiologist to help with operations.

Now, the situation is a little better, in part thanks to foreign doctors and nurses, like these from the Philippines, who are helping a young man who was burned in a gasoline tank explosion.

Many local staff members are still afraid to come back to Sirte.

But some volunteers are coming from other parts of the country, including Dr. Arish Taher Shafa from Tripoli.

When asked why he volunteered, he replied, "We have to. I think so. We have to. There is a shortage in this hospital, and we know that.

Concerning his reaction to the hospital, he said, "It's a disaster. I don't know. I have no time even to think about it.”

It is difficult for many people to talk about what happened here. Dr. Etbiga, who grew up in Sirte, is among those who can not put their feelings into words. “My mind? I think you can go with your camera, and the camera will talk what's on my mind," he said.

In the midst of this city with nearly every building destroyed, in this hospital with holes in the walls and no running water, the small medical staff is struggling to keep up with the needs of its 30 patients.

And even with the war over and few people living in the town's rubble, new victims continue to come in, many with injuries related to cleanup efforts or caused by the still live explosives that litter the city.

You May Like

French Refugee Drama Wins Cannes Top Prize

Dheepan is about a group of Sri Lankan refugees who pretend to be a family in order to flee their war-torn country for a housing project in France More

Photogallery Crisis in Macedonia Requires Meaningful and Swift Measures

The international community has called on Macedonian leadership to take concrete measures in support of democracy in order to exit the crisis More

Activists: IS Executes 217 Civilians, Soldiers Near Palmyra

British-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights on Sunday said the victims include nurses, women, children and Syrian government fighters More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Female American Soldiers: Healing Through Filmmakingi
X
Bernard Shusman
May 24, 2015 2:55 PM
According to the United States Defense Department, there are more than 200-thousand women serving in the U.S. Armed Forces.  Like their male counterparts, females have experiences that can be very traumatic.  VOA's Bernard Shusman tells us about a program that is helping some American women in the military heal through filmmaking.
Video

Video Female American Soldiers: Healing Through Filmmaking

According to the United States Defense Department, there are more than 200-thousand women serving in the U.S. Armed Forces.  Like their male counterparts, females have experiences that can be very traumatic.  VOA's Bernard Shusman tells us about a program that is helping some American women in the military heal through filmmaking.
Video

Video Rolling Thunder Run Reveals Changed Attitudes Towards Vietnam War

For many US war veterans, the Memorial Day holiday is an opportunity to look back at a divisive conflict in the nation’s history and to remember those who did not make it home.
Video

Video Millions Flock to Ethiopia Polls

Millions of Ethiopians cast their votes Sunday in the first national election since the 2012 death of longtime leader Meles Zenawi. Mr. Meles' party, the Ethiopian People's Revolutionary Democratic Front, is almost certain of victory again. VOA's Anita Powell reports from Addis Ababa.
Video

Video Scientists Testing Space Propulsion by Light

Can the sun - the heart of our solar system - power a spacecraft to the edge of our solar system? The answer may come from a just-launched small satellite designed to test the efficiency of solar sail propulsion. Once deployed, its large sail will catch the so-called solar wind and slowly reach what scientists hope to be substantial speed. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video FIFA Trains Somali Referees

As stability returns to the once lawless nation of Somalia, the world football governing body, FIFA, is helping to rebuild the country’s sport sector by training referees as well as its young footballers. Abdulaziz Billow has more from Mogadishu.
Video

Video With US Child Obesity Rates on the Rise, Program Promotes Health Eating

In its fifth year, FoodCorps puts more than 180 young Americans into 500 schools across the United States, where they focus on teaching students about nutrition, engaging them with hands-on activities, and improving their access to healthy foods whether in the cafeteria or the greater community. Aru Pande has more.
Video

Video Virginia Neighborhood Draws People to Nostalgic Main Street

In the U.S., people used to grow up in small towns with a main street lined by family-owned shops and restaurants. Today, however, many main streets are worn down and empty because shoppers have been lured away by shopping malls. But in the Del Ray neighborhood of Alexandria, Virginia, main street is thriving. VOA’s Deborah Block reports it has a nostalgic feel with its small restaurants and unique stores.
Video

Video Effort Underway to Limit Damage from California Oil Spill

Cleanup crews are working around the clock to remove oil from the waters off the coastal city of Santa Barbara, in California. About 380,000 liters of oil may have leaked out before a rupture in an onshore, underground pipeline was discovered Tuesday. The environmental disaster hit the popular West Coast resort area before the Memorial Day weekend. VOA's Zlatica Hoke reports investigators have yet to determine what caused the incident.

VOA Blogs