Mohammed Ahmouda Ahmid is checking equipment in the ambulance at Ibn Sina Medical Centre. The ambulance was delivered by the Stabilization Facility for Libya. Photo: ©UNDP/Abdul Adim

In 2011, having served its community for over 20 years, the Ibn Sina Medical Centre was nearly destroyed due to looting and extensive damage following the onset of the Libyan civil war.

Mohammed Ahmouda Ahmid, 39, an ambulance driver for the hospital, clearly recalled the effects of the conflict. “Before the war, the hospital had three well-equipped ambulances,” he says. “When we returned to work after the war, the hospital was left without a single vehicle.”

Established in 1982, the Ibn Sina Medical Centre was built in Sirt as a teaching hospital and included a medical school and dentistry on site. The hospital also included an emergency ward that dealt with critical cases, as well as a surgical centre and maternity ward.

From bad to worse

Although the medical centre had long provided treatment for residents across the city, the war and the ongoing conflict reduced the hospital to a shell. As Mohammed described, “the hospital quickly deteriorated, and we couldn't even take those seeking care to hospitals outside the city. We had to stand idly by. We couldn't do anything for them, and this was extremely difficult. It was inhumane.”

In 2016, following the end of the civil war and the conflict with the terrorist organization, ISIS, the hospital had been subjected to years of vandalism and looting and was stripped of most of its medical facilities.

A significant better service

In order to restore one of Sirt’s key public services, UNDP worked with local authorities as part of the Stabilization Facility for Libya and provided the Ibn Sina Medical Centre with much needed funding and resources.

The SFL has helped to rehabilitate the Ibn Sina Medical Centre by providing the hospital with five ambulances, two of which have been specially equipped for intensive care patients.

The SFL has allowed local authorities to connect more positively with its citizens by demonstrating their value through refurbishing essential service facilities and improving basic service delivery.

The efforts made by local authorities and UNDP have allowed the medical centre to make huge leaps forward in its level of care; the new ambulances have been particularly helpful in facilitating the treatment of new mothers during birth and post-natal care.

For Mohammed and other medical staff, the difference this project has made to the hospital has been significant, “the program has allowed [us]...to save countless lives thanks to the transport we now have. We can provide proper care to those who need it, whether they are here or outside of the city."

The Stabilization Facility for Libya, led by national and municipal Libyan institutions, is providing the quick rehabilitation of critical infrastructure to areas like Sirt and continues to deliver equipment to support local authorities to help improve services to citizens.

Mohammed Ahmouda Ahmid is on standby in the ambulance. Photo: ©UNDP/Abdul Adim
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