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Libya: Cancer centres struggle with treatment

Inside one of Libya’s few remaining cancer treatment centres, a sense of a nation’s political turmoil could be felt, with hundreds of patients from all over the turbulent country pushing limited resources to the very edge.

From all across the country, dozens of people from all ages visit the centre daily for treatment, some coming from the depths of the desert to seek crucial medical care.

Unrest and fighting has forced many Libyans from their homes in recent years, with the United Nations recording 185,000 Libyans as displaced by the turmoil in the North African country.

We call on the Libyan government to provide the medicine for us patients, mainly the chemotherapy. It has become really expensive in pharmacies and the impoverished citizen is unable to even buy a loaf of bread and life is extremely difficult.

The result of the displacement was “crowding and overpopulation,” which “led to an increase in the burden on the cancer treatment centre,” according to director of the centre, Mohamed Al-Feki.

Libyans are struggling to make ends meet, as a broken imports system and political splits lead to more inflationary pressure for ordinary citizens. Oil-rich Libya, with a population estimated at just 6.5 million, was once one of the wealthiest countries in the region.

Political unrest has led to an increase in the burden on cancer treatment in the country. However the Misrata centre strives to keep its doors open to anyone who needs help.