WHO: Half of health care facilities in Libya closed in 2020

WHO: Half of health care facilities in Libya closed in 2020

March 18, 2021 - 17:10
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Written By: SafaAlharathy

The World Health Organization (WHO) has said more than half of Libyan healthcare facilities that were operating in 2019 were forced to close.

In its annual report on the health situation in Libya, the organization explained that the closure was due to security threats and a lack of national funding, while facilities that remained open suffered frequent power cuts and lack of fuel to run generators.

The power cuts affected stocks of vital vaccines and immunization campaigns and put children at risk of life-threatening diseases such as measles and polio, the WHO said, underlining that more than a quarter of a million children have missed their vaccine shots.

According to the report, more than two-thirds of primary health care centers lack antibiotics, painkillers, insulin, blood pressure drugs, or any of the other 20 essential medicines in Libya, while many health care workers had to wait months for their salaries.

The WHO pointed out that the pandemic has led to widespread closures in Libya and a significant increase in food prices.

Water and electricity were used as tools of war, and more than two million people in Tripoli and the surrounding areas were left in April 2020 without water supplies for more than a week, in addition to the height of summer, which aggravated the power crisis where the daily power outage reached 12 hours in some neighbourhoods.

It also indicated that military activities around Tripoli have destroyed water and electricity supplies in hospitals and damaged the only factory that produces oxygen needed for the Covid-19 response.