Thu. May 30th, 2024

Displaced people fleeing South Sudan’s civil war continue to pour into the southern Libyan city of Kufra, placing further strains on the city’s weak health system and economic situation.

The Italian agency “Nova” quoted the director of Kufra University Hospital, Ismail Al-Aita, that the hospital is facing what he described as a “state of health chaos”, as many displaced Sudanese carry infectious diseases such as AIDS, hepatitis, and others, warning of the possibility of the spread of tuberculosis.

Kufra, home to 60,000 people, receives more than 1,500 displaced people a day, especially after the escalation of violence in the Darfur region exacerbated the humanitarian crisis.

In the face of these numbers, Al-Aita confirms that the hospital is no longer able to provide appropriate health care, saying: “The capacity of the municipal hospital is not enough to deal with this influx, as it is the only health facility in the city and its size is too small to meet local needs.”

He stressed that there is an urgent need for medicines, including blood pressure medications, diabetes, and chronic diseases.

Infectious disease statistics indicate that 45 cases of hepatitis, nearly 800 cases of hepatitis, and 130 cases of malaria and tuberculosis have been recorded since last October.

Al-Aita also revealed that Kufra is currently hosting between 40,000 and 50,000 displaced people, some of whom are leaving for other cities such as Ajdabiya, Jalia, Benghazi, al-Bayda, and Tripoli.

“The majority choose to remain in Kufra, where they are attracted by the presence of the local Sudanese community that provides support, and the close cultural and social connection between the people of the south and the Sudanese regions,” he said. The vast majority of Sudanese prefer to avoid the option of emigrating to Europe.”

“We don’t want Kufra to turn into a refugee camp. The international community must intervene to ensure a safe place for these people.”

Al-Aita criticized the absence of a clear UN role in this situation, noting the great support provided by General Command commander Field Marshal Khalifa Haftar.

For his part, Kufra Municipal Council spokesman Abdullah Suleiman spoke about the difficult reality that Kufra is experiencing with successive waves of Sudanese seeking refuge from the war raging in their country.

The Kufra municipal council has already issued an urgent appeal to the state and international organizations to provide essential assistance such as blankets and food supplies to help refugees.

The Italian agency pointed to the lack of real control over the vast borders between Libya, Sudan, Chad, and Niger, with evidence of the activity of criminal groups that allow migrants to cross north in exchange for large sums of money.

 

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