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tv   Our World  BBC News  October 24, 2021 3:30am-4:01am BST

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a fatal shooting on the set of an alec baldwin movie. the film's director, who was injured in the incident, has spoken about the the loss of his friend and colleague — the cinematographer halyna hutchins. italy's former interior minister, matteo salvini, has gone on trial in sicily over his refusal to let a migrant boat dock in august, 2019. he denies charges of kidnapping and dereliction of duty. mr salvini had closed italian ports to rescue boats, accusing humanitarian groups of encouraging people smuggling. a prominent adviser to the british government on covid—19, is urging the public to do everything possible, to reduce transmission of the virus — as coronavirus infections are continuing to rise. ministers say there's no need for stricter measures in england, at the moment. now on bbc news, it's time for our world: lebanon on life support.
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lebanon, on the eastern coast of the mediterranean. after decades of corruption and financial mismanagement, the small nation is now facing a humanitarian crisis. we have gone through war, we have gone through strikes, but this is the worst...the worst that we have gone through. for much of the last year, there has been no government. almost 80% of the population is now living in poverty. the country's public hospitals, a lifeline for many, are struggling to manage. the patients who are received at the hospital have no other place to go to. just being there is a must.
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this is the story of lebanon's fight for survival. if lebanon does run out of fuel, a lot of people will lose their lives — it's as simple as that. you realise that you're not the reason they are dying, it's the country they're living in. you can't not fall in love with lebanon. beirut is a place for free spirits to flourish, full of beautiful diversity. it was a true home for me. dr ghaidaa al—saddik is a second—year resident. she has spent much of the last year working on the hospital's covid ward.
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i chose medicine because i wanted to deal with my community, my society, my people, my home. i got to live that career and the city i look up to. this is rafik hariri university hospital. it's lebanon's largest public healthcare institution. every year, it treats thousands of the country's poorest patients. i love working in rafik hariri university hospital because it simply receives and hosts those vulnerable populations that are the most in need. even if it's not to the highest of standards or to the best of quality, just being there is a must. dr firas abiad is the hospital director. he was appointed in 2015 and has been widely praised for his work on strengthening the once—neglected institution.
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during the covid—i9 pandemic, he became a household name as the hospital took the lead in the country's response. every monday morning, dr abiad tours the hospital wards not to see patients, but to make sure the hospital is still functioning. i think that we are passing through a most difficult situation. so, as our circumstances are becoming more difficult, the demands on us by patients
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is increasing, and that has really put us in a very precarious situation. in late 2019, spiralling national debt contributed to the collapse of lebanon's economy. now, the country is facing the highest levels of inflation seen anywhere in the world. almost entirely reliant on imports, the country is now facing massive shortages. a nationwide shortage of fuel has led to sweeping power cuts.
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at the hospital, this means relying on their back—up generators for up to 23 hours a day. jihad chihimi is the head of engineering. it's his responsibility to keep the generators running. the lives of the hospital's patients depend on them. if lebanon does run out of fuel, a lot of people will lose their lives — it's as simple as that. with the majority of lebanon's medications also imported, the hospital's pharmacy is running on critically low supplies. here we have the lovenox.
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we give that for a patient when he is bedridden. he should take some — at least one of these so that he will not have a blood clot. we have here the dextrose — the 30% dextrose, not available any more. raida bitar is the hospital's chief pharmacist. the shortages have made her work almost impossible. the suppliers say that they are not being able to import the medications because the central bank is not giving them the needed facilities, while the minister of health says that the medications are at the suppliers but the suppliers are not delivering, so that they can sell it at a higher price. every day, i receive calls from doctors and they are asking for certain medications. sometimes, these doctors are asking for the medications for themselves, for their families. but when a medication is not available, it's not available anywhere. these shortages mean a black market for drugs has developed, for everything from simple
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painkillers to cancer medications. i have been working here for 16 years and never, never have we passed a certain time like this. we have gone through wars, we have gone through strikes, but this one is the most difficult. the world health organization recently claimed that 40% of doctors have already left the country. those that remain are fast becoming the minority.
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i have encountered a lot of doctors and physicians that i admire for staying, that have chosen to step over the income they receive or the conditions they live in, just because they want to be there for the people, for their own communities. if you leave and i leave and everybody leaves, who is going to stay behind to carry on the burden of the healthcare system as a whole? over the last two years, the local currency, the lira, has lost almost 90% of its value. before the crisis, a junior doctor here would have earned around $1,000. now, with inflation, it's less than $100. the junior doctors have decided to strike, calling for part of their shrinking salary to be paid in dollars.
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if the strike continues, the hospital risks having to close down essential services. the director has called in members of his staff to explain to them why the hospital can't agree to the demands.
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now, we have already raised their salaries — we've given them almost 70% extra — but they want to have 25% of their income in fresh dollars, which is an impossibility because as a hospital, we get paid in lebanese liras.
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when you are passing through hardships, it's very important to make sure that we are all rowing in the same direction. unfortunately, that is not what is happening at the moment. 0n the covid ward, a shortage of space means treatment is longer guaranteed. rasha left syria at the start of that country's civil war ten years ago. lebanon became her new home. for the already vulnerable refugee population, the crisis
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has been particularly hard. there will be a delay in the management of this baby because there is not a place in the hospital. a delay in management would lead to complications, maybe he will need to be intubated, maybe he needs — he's gonna — he's gonna — one of the complications is probably him dying if he is not transferred to another hospital. cries. the logistics and the bureaucracy of the healthcare system as a whole is killing our chances of being good doctors. i think a medical system — successful, proficient system — has many building blocks under it.
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one of them is the availability of resources, other is the technology present, others is the logistics, then you have the human resources and so on, and what you see right now is those building blocks crumbling down or disappearing bit by bit. lebanon has been without a government for over a year. essential services and public institutions have become increasingly reliant on international aid. i think unfortunately not only this hospital, i think at the moment all of lebanon is dependent i think unfortunately not only this hospital, i think at the moment all of lebanon is dependent
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on aid and i think that the aid that was initially coming mainly for the refugee population now is needed also by the lebanese population as well. but we have to think medium and long—term. this aid definitely is not sustainable. we need to find a way out. the hospital needs to bring the junior doctor strike to an end. they have offered a 100% pay rise, but none of that will be in dollars.
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0k. bye. 0k? back on the covid ward, it's another busy shift for dr ghaidaa. so there is a cardiac arrest in the er and they need a physician to carry on the procedure and, like, know what kind of medication to give and start compressions.
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i was a bit shocked because i saw the patient yesterday in the morning and he was fine. he wasn't even complaining, if anything, so to just drop dead like this, it's a bit of a shock to us and i was a bit aggressive because i really wanted him to carry on, but it just didn't happen. but, i mean, this is how it goes. we usually were like "somebody�*s dead? ok, so it's a free bed", right? so... yeah, sorry. there were several nights during my duties where i found myself alone with dying patients and then you look at them and you realise that you're not the reason they're dying, it's the country they're living in.
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as the hospital continues to struggle, a surprise breakthrough has seen the formation of a new government. many of those in the new cabinet are from traditional political parties, blamed by many in lebanon for the current crisis. but there were a number of new faces, including dr firas abiad, the hospital director... ..who has been appointed the new public health minister. i think it feels like it's a big responsibility now on my shoulders. i think that there is a lot of expectations, a lot of need in the country. on one side, i think we are very angry, looking
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at the state of our country. some of us are very depressed. and at the same time, i feel determined. we don't think that what we are living in is a destiny. if we work hard, we will be able to change this situation. applause.
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across lebanon, reaction to the new government is mixed. for dr ghaidaa and her colleagues, hope is in short supply. for so many young people in lebanon, thoughts of their future are now focused on when to leave the country. laughs.
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i genuinely — genuinely, from the bottom of my heart — i do not want to leave. i can adapt, i can go through that, i'm resilient, i can bear. but, i mean, once you realise that i cannot be a well—equipped, efficient, giving doctor, i had to decide to leave. i realise that i am leaving people behind that are going to suffer.
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i am in a constant state of guilt.
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hello there. saturday was a pretty cloudy day across the board. temperatures were edging up and part two of the weekend it looks a little bit milder. we will also have some chain around which will make it feel mild too. but there will be some showery bursts of rain all courtesy of this weather front which is bringing a very wet night to parts of northern ireland and western scotland. sunday morning this weather front will be slowly weakening as it continues to journey its way eastwards across the rest of scotland and for england and wales. lying across western england and will across the morning you'll notice it will become more fragmented with showery bursts of rain edging their way across the rest of england and wales through the day. not reaching the southeast until evening time so staying dry here with some glimmers of brightness. elsewhere sunshine show was heavily rumbling thunder in ireland
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and western scotland. it's going to be another blustery day right across the board. windiest for southern and western coast could see up to maybe 40mph in exposure. it's going to be milder probably milder than saturday with top temperatures in the brighter spots reaching around 16 celsius. through sunday night it stays blustery. there'll be clear spells and showers, most of the showers will be affecting more northern and western areas, the odd heavy one again in eastern areas which will tend to stay dry with just a few showers getting through there. another mild night to come for england and wales with a perhaps something a little bit fresher for northern ireland and scotland. here's the pressure chart then for monday, low pressure to the north of the uk, westerly winds cover these weather fronts accentuated showers with sunny spells for tuesday at more significant area of low pressure affects the north of the uk further south, closer to an area of high pressure it should be drier and a little bit brighter. this is the picture for monday, a lot of sunshine around, many places to stay dry altogether but we will have showers around. most of the southern and western areas, some of them on the heavy side. another mild day to come across england and wales,
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the mid—teens again, something a bit cooler and fresher for scotland and northern ireland here. around ten to 12 degrees. as we move through the week, it stays mild very milder across southern areas but southern areas will tend to see the driest and the brightest of the weather. further north always windier and wetter at times.
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this is bbc news. i'm rich preston. our top stories: the film director injured in a fatal shooting on the set of an alec baldwin movie speaks about the death of his colleague — as the police investigation continues. italy's former interior minister, matteo salvini, goes on trial, charged with kidnapping — after refusing to allow a migrant rescue boat to dock. covid infections in the uk rise — as a prominent government adviser says he's fearful of another "lockdown christmas." colombia's most wanted drug trafficker is captured — after a joint operation by the armed forces, and the police. riot police block the path of a new caravan of migrants hoping to get to mexico city, and then on to the united states. and the environmental activist greta thunberg talks to the bbc
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about where she thinks world leaders are failing on tackling climate change.

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