The impact of the West’s two-pronged effort to oust Muammar Qaddafi was apparent this week in Tripoli, where doctors struggled to treat Libyans injured in recent NATO air strikes amid a deepening shortage of electricity and medical supplies. Hassan Moussa, senior doctor at Tripoli’s Central Hospital, said physicians had been forced to improvise treatment for critically injured patients as supplies of oxygen and other necessities run short six months after the United Nations renewed sanctions on Libya. “We are physicians but we are unable to save people. Where is the oxygen? Where are the laboratory supplies, the electricity, the refrigeration?” he said. “We ask God to end this nightmare.” A UN mission reported late last month that medical supplies such as vaccines were rapidly running low. Officials were scrambling to staff medical units after the rebellion that broke out in February prompted thousands of health workers to flee.
Machines hummed in the hospital’s critical care unit as doctors tended to patients they said were wounded in NATO airstrikes this week. Officials said one strike killed 85 people, including women and children, at a cluster of hamlets near where rebels are fighting to end Qaddafi’s 41-year rule.