(Author: Libyan Gazette Editorial Staff)
An injured Libyan soldier is receiving medical aid in the hospital in Misrata after being wounded in last Wednesday’s clashes with ISIS
Libya’s ongoing political conflict since the fall of Muammar Gaddafi in 2011 has left the healthcare system in shatters, with hospitals short on qualified surgeons and lacking basic medical supplies to treat patients. The situation is so dire that the Libyan army is unable to treat soldiers injured in the battle against ISIS in Libya, instead soldiers who are in critical condition have been transported to other countries for medical aid.
Deputy Prime Minister Ahmed Maiteeq called on the international community to provide medical aid to Libyan soldiers injured in Operation Strong Foundation against ISIS in the area between Misrata and ISIS stronghold Sirte.
“Last week we had a very serious attack on our troops, and we did not find any help for our injured,” Maiteeq told the Telegraph.
“The only country so far is Italy. We make this request to all our allies, and sometimes with requests like this you cannot wait,” he stressed.
Last week, in an especially deadly confrontation with ISIS forces in the region of Abu Grein, 32 Libyan soldiers lost their lives and 50 were injured as the Libyan military advanced toward the extremist group’s stronghold in the coastal city of Sirte.
Soldiers who were seriously wounded in last Wednesday’s clashes were transported to neighbouring countries to receive medical treatment because the hospital in nearby Misrata could not provide the necessary care due to a shortage of medicine and medical supplies.
With Libya’s war-ravaged hospitals already over-stretched, the Government of National Accord (GNA) is hoping that since all European countries would benefit from the defeat of ISIS on the continent’s southern flank, they should also help shoulder the burden.
The Telegraph reported that Libyan soldiers wounded in the battle against ISIS are set to be airlifted out of Libya for treatment in British hospitals.
Tripoli is in talks with the United Kingdom to offer Libyan soldiers treatment at a hospital in the British military base in Cyprus, where they can receive specialist care.
“We would like to see more of our friends and allies in Europe offering help,” Maiteeq said.
On Thursday, the GNA’s operation room against ISIS announced on Facebook that a blood donation campaign was organized in Tripoli to aid injured soldiers.
The number of soldiers who may need medical assistance outside of Libya is likely to increase as Libya’s battle against ISIS held Sirte has only just begun.
The healthcare situation in Libya will continue to deteriorate as long as the country remains politically divided. In order to more forward as a country, it is imperative that all political factions unite for the stability of Libya.
Western nations are eager to establish security and stability in the oil rich country, and stated that they had faith in the GNA to defeat ISIS and agreed to assist the unity government in their fight against ISIS by providing arms and military training.