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  • Writer's picturekwankew

Sirte Gate 30 the Polyclinic

Desiring to explore another area of Misurata, I decided to run east of where we live. Destruction was much less here but there were still a few burned out buildings. Children have started school and school vans came to fetch some of them. Hordes of young girls and boys carrying school bags smiling at me as they walked to schools, the boys put up their thumbs. Tankers with slogans in Arabic parked in a big plaza, rust has already begun to set in.

Today we drove to Gate 50 where the Field Hospital is and then changed vehicle and drove with security to Gate 30 where we delivered many boxes of medicine and supplies. We then spent a couple of hours seeing patients there; they were mostly children with diarrhea. Intermittently through the windows sounds of bombing could be heard. The window panes rattled with the blasts. Gate 30 (that 30 kilometers form Sirte) brought us a lot closer to the center of Sirte where fierce fighting is still going on. After we finished seeing the patients we went on to Wadi Inffra, after passing a check point. Again we delivered medicines but we were told that almost all the patients came early in the morning and had left because they feared that fighting which usually is more intense in the afternoon would pick up. A father came in with a crying boy, the father spread his arms simulating a plane flying and then he made the sound of bombing. The boy was traumatized by the constant shelling.

Off to the Field Hospital we went. In the morning there were no patients but in the afternoon there were three, all of them being transferred out of Sirte Hospital after the Red Cross had received safe passage to bring out the injured. One of them was an elderly man with a chest wound that resulted in a punctured lung; he had a chest tube placed, another was a young girl with fractured pelvis and shoulder and the third was a woman who recently delivered a baby, she was in a bomb blast and suffered many shrapnel injuries and was paralyzed from the waist down. Because she was a woman I helped the nurse there to wash her and we dressed her wounds as best we could before all three patients were transferred to Misurata in a helicopter. The man with the punctured lung told me that his family was evacuated from Sirte two days ago but he was not able to because he was injured.

Although there was supposed to be a truce for a few days last weekend to allow civilians to leave Sirte some shootings continued so many people were afraid to leave. The Hospital in Sirte has few doctors most have left Sirte to volunteer outside of Sirte. The hospital is within hostile territory close to Gaddafi's stronghold. There are many snipers, patients and staff alike have to run through the gauntlet of gunfire and snipers to get in and out of the hospital. Diesel has long run out so there is no electricity or oxygen and little medicines. Many patients who were brought to the hospital died. The current Field Hospital will be moved closer to Sirte to shorten the distance of transport of the injured.

In the evening I took the Chinook along with a fighter with a broken arm and many other healthcare personnel. We stuffed our ears with cotton wool to cut down the noise from the Chinook. The noisy Chinook flew far out in the Mediterranean supposedly to be away from the line of fire. In the distance we could see the sunset over Libya, the sun's rays pierced through the gathering dark clouds. The Chinook hovered slowly and laboriously for what seemed like a long time before finally landing. When we arrived at the Misurata Airport forty minutes later, there was no cruiser from IMC so I rode the ambulance carrying the fighter with the broken arm to the Polyclinic Hospital with the ambulance driver who was an IT guy from Tripoli but he is now driving the ambulance in Misurata during the war. The contributions towards the war efforts of the people of Libya have been tremendous.

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