News / Africa

Misrata Hospital Copes with Libya's War Wounded

Scott Bobb

In Libya, forces opposed to former leader Moammar Gadhafi now control most of the country. But Gadhafi continues to evade capture and fighting continues in several important cities. The central coastal city of Misrata endured intense combat. Yet, its medical workers continue to treat wounded from other areas.

It is early morning at the main hospital in Misrata. All staff have been summoned because an influx of patients is expected from the fighting at nearby Gadhafi strongholds.

Doctor Abdulmoneim Ahmed heads the trauma unit. His staff has treated thousands of wounded during the six months of fighting between forces loyal to Moammar Gadhafi and those backing the opposition National Transitional Council.

"At beginning we were in a very bad situation. This place [the hospital] was not suitable for such a disaster, but with volunteers and with equipment coming from outside, we had to help ourselves and our people," said Ahmed.

Ali Abu Freida was a first grade teacher until he joined the anti-Gadhafi fighters. He was wounded in the stomach three months ago and still is under treatment.

He says he will go back to teaching after Gadhafi is defeated. Despite his injuries, he says, the effort was worth it. He says he did not wish for things to be like this, but what had to be, had to be. We had to do it, he says, so no regrets.

The number of incoming wounded has slowed since anti-Gadhafi forces gained control of Misrata. But casualties continue to come in from other battlefields.  Many hospital staff fled or are missing.

Medical student Amina Baitulmal, 18, is one of 60 volunteers. She says the experience was traumatic at first.

"How do I deal with it? I don't know," Baitulmal said.  "I just got used to it. At first, it was shocking but when everything happens you just don't have the time to think. I don't want to say it's easy, but it's ok."

Dr. Ahmed says many staff members and patients are suffering from stress because of what they have experienced.

"We saw a lot of cases with such a problem and we accepted a lot of psychotherapists," noted Ahmed.  "They meet with the patients and are trying to relieve their tension and their problems."

Everyone hopes the fighting will end soon. But most understand that even when it does, the road to recovery - both physical and mental - will be long and hard.

You May Like

How to Safeguard Your Mobile Privacy

As the digital world becomes more mobile, so too do concerns about eroding privacy and increased hacking More

'Desert Dancer' Chronicles Iranian Underground Dance Troupe

Film by Richard Raymond is based on true story of Afshin Ghaffarian and his friends More

Obesity Poses Complex Problem

Professor warns of obesity’s worldwide health impact 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.
Rolling Thunder Run Reveals Changed Attitudes Towards Vietnam Wari
X
Katherine Gypson
May 25, 2015 1:32 AM
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 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 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 Iowa Family's Sacrifice Shaped US Military Service for Generations

Few places in America have experienced war like Waterloo. This small town in the Midwest state of Iowa became famous during World War II not for what it accomplished, but what it lost. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, the legacy of one family’s sacrifice is still a reminder today of the real cost of war for all families on the homefront.
Video

Video On Film: How Dance Defies Iran's Political Oppression

'Desert Dancer' by filmmaker Richard Raymond is based on the true story of a group of young Iranians, who form an underground dance troupe in the Islamic Republic of Iran. This is the latest in a genre of films that focus on dance as a form of freedom of expression against political oppression and social injustice. VOA’s Penelope Poulou has more.
Video

Video Turkey's Ruling Party Trying to Lure Voters in Opposition Stronghold

Turkey’s AK (Justice and Development) Party is seeking a fourth successive general election victory, with the goal of securing two-thirds of the seats in Parliament to rewrite the constitution and change the country's parliamentary system into a presidential one. To achieve that, the party will need to win seats in opposition strongholds like the western city of Izmir. Dorian Jones reports.
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.

VOA Blogs