On January 27th, 2021, a large truck lost control on the coastal road of Sabratha, crashed into four cars and killed five people. Witnesses tried to reach out for help, but with no Emergency Center nearby to answer respond on time. The 17 February Health Care Center, previously known as Tellil Health Care Center, is located on the coastal road of Sabratha, less than 2 kilometers from where the accident happened. It is one of many facilities that is currently struggling to provide basic health services to those in need, due to a lack of resources and staff.
“The local community in Sabratha is very poor and so they often cannot afford to travel to or seek assistance in private clinics, which are mostly out of reach even for those better off. Everyone relies on the public health care units such as the Tellil facility, so any support that can be provided is of great value,” said Dr. Najah, who worked at the Tellil Health Care Facility from 2014 to 2018.
Today, Dr. Najah works as the Health Representative for Migrace, a Libyan CSO partnering with the International NGO WeWorld (GVC) under the Italian Cooperation component (AICS) of the programme Baladiyati, funded by the European Union to upgrade the Tellil Health Care Center along with two other priority health facilities in Sabratha with rehabilitation works and the provision of necessary medical equipment and supplies.
Before moving to Migrace, Dr. Najah used to go to the clinic four times a week, from 9:00am to 1:00pm, to treat patients with whatever supplies were available. This was the case for many other doctors, including the Clinic’s internist and pediatrician. The gynecologist would even have to bring her own ultrasound device with her to check on the patients.
“It wasn’t always this way,” Najah explained, “from 2011 until 2018 Tellil was providing good quality services to its patients. Medical equipment was available and it made a difference in the lives of the people in this area. But after 2019, things changed dramatically due to the growing insecurity and the Covid-19 outbreak. The economic situation has deteriorated significantly and with it the public health situation. Now the laboratory is not functioning and there are no medications in the pharmacy, unless they are provided from the Ministry of Health, but that only happens on rare occasions.”
Thanks to funding from the Italian Agency for Development Cooperation (AICS), WeWorld-GVC and Migrace will look to turn part of 17 February Health Care Center into an Emergency Unit which will have direct access to the coastal road ensuring quick and easy access for emergency vehicles.
“You cannot imagine how much this will bring hope to the people of Sabratha. The health facility is currently 200 meters from the main street, so many lives could be saved from the countless daily accidents on this road. This will not only help the people in Sabratha but those coming from all the surrounding areas,” concluded Dr. Najah.
This story was written by AICS based on content collected on ground by WeWorld-GVC
Photo credit: WeWorld-GVC