Bloggers and Social networks Expose State of Local Hospitals in Algeria

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As their president recovered in Paris from a minor stroke, Algerian internet users mounted a movement to demand better hospitals in their own country.

A new Facebook page urged Algerian citizens to take to the streets on May 4th to demand decent medical facilities for everyone.

The initiative proved to be so popular that even politicians, including Jil Jadid party chief Sofiane Djilali participated in the street demonstrations to demand a “Val-de-Grâce hospital for everyone”.

Fella Bouredji notes in his Paroles d’Algériens blog that the May 6th physician strike is part of the fight to improve the health care system in Algeria. “No social truce for Algeria”, she writes.

“The crisis is growing in the hospital world,” she writes. “Poor patient care, lack of medication and shortage of resources are among the biggest problems.”

In his blog, journalist Akram Belkaid quotes excerpts from his book, Un regard calme sur l’Algérie (published by Seuil Publications).”Even if it was published in 2005, when the country wasn’t doing as well economically, many things remain unchanged, especially the hospital situation,” Belkaid writes in his blog. “That’s why many Algerians, including their leaders, seek treatment abroad.”

“At times, Algerians living abroad, in France especially, get crazy requests from friends or family members back home. A windshield, a pressure cooker, a barometer, fine – but surgical thread!” he quotes,describing Algerian hospitals as lacking in all departments: no alcohol,no compresses, an unmotivated paramedical staff, lack of hygiene,discouraged medical professors…Algerian internet showed a sense of humour about the president’s absence.

Not long after President Abdelaziz Bouteflika was admitted to the French military hospital, a request surfaced on Facebook: ‘The Algerian people want to go to France to visit the president in the hospital. Prayers for the president are all over the net, like on Sandoussa’s blog, where the president is being wished a speedy recovery. Others wonder about the country’s future in the event of an extended absence of its leader. Senior citizens are more concerned with the president’s health, notes the Love, Peace and Freedom blog.

In this regard, 78-year old Idir Ben Ammar stresses President Bouteflika’s achievements: the Civil Concord Law for instance, enabled Algeria to finally find security and stability. “I am worried about the well-being of Abdelaziz Bouteflika, who initiated numerous reforms benefiting young people,” said Akli Lyès.

The “Love, Peace and Freedom” blog also includes a note from Meriem Slimani, 29. She is pleased with how the cabinet communicated information about the president’s health.


Source:Magharebia (Washington DC)

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