Renewing Treatments and Hopes in Benghazi

Radioterapy center 1Dr. Hussein Alfaituri, medical physicist at Benghazi Radiotherapy hospital shows the new medical equipment of the center. ©UNDP/Nada Elfeituri.

 

“Missiles had fallen on the building destroying many offices and treatment areas. The electrical system was damaged as well, and the furniture was ruined. A lot of equipment was stolen. We were devastated,” declared a medical physicist, Dr. Hussein Alfaituri.

Highlights

  • The Benghazi Radiotherapy hospital was the only hospital in East Libya that offered specialized treatment for cancer patients, and the only hospital in Libya that provided 3D therapy planning.
  • The hospital remained closed until late 2016, when the staff was able to enter the center.
  • The hospital set out the rehabilitation's works with the help of the Stabilization Facility for Libya project supported by UNDP.
  • SFL will continue to support the hospital, providing specialized equipment, as well as a computer system and the renovation of the control rooms.

The Benghazi Radiotherapy hospital was the only hospital in East Libya that offered specialized treatment for cancer patients, and the only hospital in Libya that provided 3D therapy planning. In 2014, after clashes in Hawari district, 500 patients who depended on treatment offered by the hospital were forced to continue it abroad or stop it altogether.

“We couldn’t access the radiotherapy equipment or remove them from the building,” said Dr. Awad Alkatib, an oncology specialist in the hospital. “We could no longer treat our patients.”

The hospital remained closed until late 2016, when the staff was able to enter the center.

“The state of the hospital was extremely bad,” said Dr. Hussein Alfaituri, who was one of the first people to enter the center after it became accessible.

Determined to reopen and begin treating patients again, the hospital set out the rehabilitation's works with the help of the Stabilization Facility for Libya project supported by UNDP.

“It’s been very difficult to get any kind of support because of the current situation in Libya”, said Dr. Hussein. “SFL is one of the few projects that offered us a helping hand in repairing our hospital, they’ve been a big help.”

Radiotherapy 2The Radiotherapy Hospital is the only facility of its kind in East Libya, with patients from across Libya depending on its services. ©UNDP/Nada Elfeituri.

The damaged sections were repaired and repainted. Hanging ceilings were installed, and the electrical system was rehabilitated. The renovation was also done to the medicine storage, mechanical room, and the HVAC system. The main building is now ready to function again.

“There are no private clinics that can provide the treatment that we deliver, and it’s very expensive to receive radiotherapy treatment abroad,” said Dr. Awad. “The medical staff has also been frustrated at being unable to assist our patients. This renovation has helped our hospital become operational again and we now have a proper place to do our work.”

radioterapy center 2Supported by UNDP, SFL project renovated the medicine storage, mechanical room, and the HVAC system, as well as the electrical system. ©UNDP/Nada Elfeituri.

SFL will continue to support the hospital, providing specialized equipment, as well as a computer system and the renovation of the control rooms. Among the most common cases that will be treated by the hospital are breast cancer, cancer of the head and neck, and brain cancer. The hospital will also offer diagnostic services such as CT scans and MRIs.

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