Injured Libyans to receive treatment in Prague hospitals

Injured Libyans arrive at Prague's Kbely airport, photo: CTK

A Czech military plane brought five injured Libyans to Prague for treatment on Monday night. All are in need of surgery which overcrowded hospitals in their homeland are unable to provide. An appeal from Libya for European countries to help treat their wounded has led to the Czech government extending its Medevac aid programme for children to adults with serious medical problems.

Injured Libyans arrive at Prague's Kbely airport, photo: CTK
Abdal was seriously wounded in a shoot-out with Gaddafi troops in his home town of Zawiya – he says a cartridge exploded in his right leg, leaving a three centimeter hole in the bone. Doctors in a local hospital fixed the injury but in the current conditions were unable to provide the bone-replacement surgery that would help Abdal walk again. There are hundreds of others who share the same fate.

Filip Bourget, a doctor from Prague’s General Teaching Hospital was sent out to help select patients for treatment in the Czech Republic and accompany them here.

“The situation in Libyan hospitals right now does not enable any kind of complicated surgery. There is no chance to conduct even arthroscopic examinations.”

Local hospitals are bursting at the seams and even after the worst of the fighting ceased and the stream of wounded thinned the situation remains critical. There are many who were only given life-saving surgery and require follow-up operations. Waleed Turki, a doctor who has been serving almost around the clock at a hospital in Tripoli says there is only so much they can do.

Photo: CTK
“We have a huge number of wounded. And the capacity of our hospitals and the capacity of our doctors to handle all these cases is not that big.”

The five injured Libyans who were sent to Prague will each require several operations including complicated plastic surgery. In the meantime two Libyan doctors have come to Prague for training and should in future select other patients in their homeland who would be given medical treatment in the Czech Republic.