HI supports persons with disabilities and caregivers to face the challenges of war
In Benghazi city and district, in Libya, Humanity & Inclusion (HI) provides physical rehabilitation and psychological support in 5 health centres as well as in the homes of people with disabilities.
Patient Ritaj at home with the HI physiotherapist | © Photo HI
Help at home
In Benghazi, HI has provided rehabilitation care to 1,400 people since April 2019, paying particular attention to caregivers, whom the association advises and supports.
The case of Ritaj, twelve, who has a condition called hydrocephalus and can not walk. Ritaj’s aunt takes care of her and was struggling every day to face all of the difficulties of living in a country at war whilst being the sole carer for a child with severe disabilities.
Ritaj's old wheelchair was not adapted to her needs and had caused a deformity above her pelvis.
HI provided a new wheelchair adapted to her impairment and a toilet seat; this changed not only Ritaj’s daily life but her aunt’s too.
HI also taught them some simple physiotherapy exercises, which have gradually allowed Ritaj greater autonomy washing.
Home visits are essential for women with disabilities as none of the rehabilitation facilities have inpatients services for them.
Insufficient rehabilitation services
All medical facilities in the Benghazi region are overwhelmed. HI works in 5 health and rehabilitation centres in and around the city, including the large Benghazi Medical Centre in the city.
This fully equipped but under-staffed centre receives patients from all over the eastern region, with some people traveling many miles for treatment. Due to capacity issues, physiotherapy patients face a long waiting list to receive treatment.
In addition to providing care, HI provides training for medical staff - nurses and doctors - on how to treat and move a patient with disabilities safely, how to use X-ray equipment, for example.
In Benghazi, HI provided 18 medical staff in 8 medical facilities with training.
An exhausted population
In Benghazi, electricity cuts are a daily occurrence. The price of basic foodstuffs (cooking oil, rice, pasta) has exploded in recent years.
The price of oil has tripled in twelve months. Cash withdrawals are limited to a handful per year.
Finally, all schools have been closed since last March because of the COVID-19 pandemic...
The population has been suffering for years from the conflict and its social and economic consequences on a daily basis, especially those who have been displaced by violence: Benghazi hosts several thousand displaced people from Tawergha, Murziq, Tarhouna, Sirt, etc., which overburden the social and medical services of the city.
4 camps for displaced people are located in and around the city but many others live in rented houses or with relatives.
In such a complicated context, many people suffer from stress, depression and anxiety.
HI teams work in camps for the displaced, providing counselling and mental health care to individuals suffering from high stress, anxiety, depression and other severe psychological distress.