Struggling healthcare in Libya needs $43.5m boost, says WHO

12 Feb 19

Health organisations are appealing for international donors to help raise $43.5m, which they say is needed to provide treatment for people affected by conflict in Libya.

Many health facilities have fully or partially closed after being damaged or destroyed by the ongoing conflict in the North African country, which has limited access to healthcare services, the World Health Organization said yesterday.

Health delivery partners in the country and WHO have called for the $43.5m to “provide life-saving interventions” for more than 350,000 people in Libya.

WHO representative in Libya Syed Jaffar Hussain said: “Investing in the health of people in Libya is a critical investment in the future of the region.

“Without funding, hundreds of thousands of people will be left without the health services they need, further adding to this humanitarian tragedy and increasing the risk of diseases crossing borders.”

The health sector currently has 36% of required funding for the ‘international humanitarian response plan’ for the country drawn up by the UN, WHO said.

Shortages of medicines and health service providers and lack of staff within the national public health programmes, increase the risk of spread of communicable diseases, such as tuberculosis and vaccine preventable diseases, the health organisation said.

The lack of access to care is also having an impact on patients with chronic diseases, mental health conditions and special needs, as well as mothers in need of maternal care and newborn child health services.

More than 17% of hospitals and 20% of primary health facilities have been damaged or destroyed by the conflict, which broke out in 2011, an assessment by WHO found in 2017.

Conflict and political instability have fuelled the crisis in Libya, which has forced individuals to flee and has negatively affected the country’s institutions and economy.

In September 2018, the UN-backed government in the country declared a state of emergency in Tripoli, after dozens of people were killed in clashes between rival militia groups.

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