By Mustafa Khalifa.
Tripoli, 28 August 2015:
The fighting in the south western oasis town of Obari between Tuareg and Tebu gunmen has . . .[restrict]resulted more than eighty percent of the population fleeing. Among them have been most of the staff at Obari General Hospital, although it has remained open throughout the conflict, trying to provide services from everything from radiology and gynaecology to accident and emergency. Dr Kamel is the only medical specialist remaining.
He is being helped by a number of volunteers who have been given crash courses in first aid and basic nursing for anything between a bullet wound and an infection. At the moment, though, it is not the consequences of random shelling that are preoccupying the volunteers. It is scorpion stings and typhoid.
Scorpions are always an issue in the desert areas around Obari. The problem at the moment, according to one of the volunteers, Aisha Alyas, is that there is a dire shortage of anti-venom medication. The result, she claimed, had been a number of deaths among children who had been stung.
She did not disclose how many had died over the summer.
As to typhoid, there has been a rise in cases according to hospital official Abdul Salam Mohammed. “We do not know the reasons,” he said. Again, there is an acute shortage of specialised antibiotics, making the situation worse.
There are also severe shortages of other antibiotics as well as paediatric, respiratory and several other medications, not to mention medical equipment, he added.
There are some nine different varieties of scorpion in Libya, and generally healthy adults do not die from stings. But they can be life threatening to children and the elderly or those suffering from respiratory and/or cardiovascular diseases. Every year there are deaths from scorpion stings, invariably because the victim did not receive treatment in time or because there was no antidote available. [/restrict]