Libya: WHO expresses fear on disease outbreak




The World Health Organisation (WHO) said on Friday that it feared outbreaks of infectious diseases due to dirty water and people fleeing fighting nearing Tripoli, where it has about two weeks of emergency supplies for hospitals and health facilities.

After a week of fighting, 75 people have been killed and 323 wounded, including seven civilians killed and 10 wounded, Dr Syed Hussain, WHO representative in Libya told a Geneva news conference from Tripoli.

He said the WHO has delivered trauma kits and medicines to hospitals.

“These supplies will last for two weeks, the acute phase,” he said.

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So far 6,000 have fled the fighting but WHO has contingency plans in case “thousands if not hundreds of thousands” are displaced in the acute phase of fighting.

Thousands of refugees held in detention centres in Libya, since fighting erupted between rival groups.

Sam Turner, Doctors Without Borders’ (MSF) head of mission for Libya and search and rescue operations in the Mediterranean said: ”there is a serious risk to thousands of refugees and migrants trapped in detention, with at least one detention centre located in the direct vicinity of the fighting.

The United Nations’ refugee agency said on Thursday that it had evacuated 152 women and children from one centre near the fighting in the south of the city, and that more could follow.

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