Benghazi seeks way out of health crisis
By Asmaa Elourfi for Magharebia in Benghazi – 03/05/11
Medical supplies are running short in Benghazi, putting overwhelmed doctors under heavy strain. To address the challenges, professionals, hospital managers and health officials gathered last week to look for solutions.
"We held this meeting in order to identify the problems facing the health sector and try to find solutions for them," Economic Support and Assistance Commission member Jamal Jabr said. "After that, we shall send these solutions to the economic council. Our aim is to boost competency and performance in the health sector."
"The committee holds regular meetings every Tuesday at the economic research centre at the University of Garyounis where the problems and issues facing the health sector in the city of Benghazi are examined," added Jabr, whose group held the April 26th meeting along with Al-Arab Medical University.
Jabr said that hospital managers were invited to the meeting to discuss ways of solving "the health crisis at the hospitals in Benghazi and its suburbs".
"The crisis is represented in a shortage of medical supplies and capabilities, absence of the technical element, i.e. nursing, lack of security and absence of some devices and equipment that were received from international aid organisations," he said. "The problem in Benghazi particularly lies in the shortage of some medicines for chronic diseases, such as cancer, diabetes, and kidneys, etc."
In his turn, Dr Ahmed Ali Beltamar said that the participants were able to "reach many solutions for improving the level of performance among doctors and overcoming the problems and obstacles facing their work".
"As an advisory commission, we will be submitting our conclusions on these problems to the economic council, which, in its turn, will submit them to the Consultative Support Commission, which will refer them to the National Transitional Council," he said. "Although this is a long series, things are moving well and fast."
"My presence in Benghazi enabled me to attend the meeting," said Dr Amin al-Senousi, an anaesthesiologist in Germany and a degree holder in disaster medicine. "I was on my way to the city of Misrata and I tried to go there twice, but I couldn't enter the city. I came with some medicines, which are anaesthesia medications, after we learnt that Misrata was suffering from severe shortages. According to my expectations, the quantity I brought with me could suffice them for one or two months."
He added that he had a permit by the German government since "the German constitution allows dispatching anaesthesia items to disaster areas".
"Thank God, we have agreed on the outlines. I can't now say how this quantity of medicines will be sent there, but they can be sent any way," he said, adding that "anaesthesia medicines must be handed in person".
"I wished to hand them with my own hands, but thankfully my brothers on the ship have handed them and brought to me the documents that prove they were delivered," al-Senousi said.
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