Babylon & Beyond

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LIBYA: Aid agencies hindered in attempts to get medical supplies to areas most in need

March 10, 2011 |  9:57 am

Ongoing insecurity continues to hinder aid agencies from reaching areas of western Libya that are in urgent need of medical supplies and assistance, officials from Doctors Without Borders said Thursday.

Teams of the agency’s medical staff have managed to reach health facilities in Ajdabya and Brega, but were unable to proceed to Ras Lanuf, about 270 miles west of the eastern city of Benghazi, according to Anne Chatelain, an emergency medical coordinator currently based in Benghazi for Doctors Without Borders.

According to information provided by the agency, the medical aid group has so far provided about 22 tons of medical supplies, including surgical sets, burn kits, dressing materials, anesthetics and antibiotics. An additional 11 tons of medicines and medical materials are en route to Benghazi, officials with the medical aid agency said.

They added that supplies are being channeled to areas where violent clashes and increased aerial bombardments have created the most need. One such location is Benghazi’s central pharmacy, which is supplying the entire network of medical facilities in eastern Libya but is facing increasing risk and challenges in getting the aid to besieged regions, Doctors Without Borders officials said.

Pharmacy doctors have told the medical aid agency that health facilities from Ajdabya to Brega were all dependent on the supplies from the pharmacy, and staff at the facility was working around-the-clock.

--Ann M. Simmons