Serious concerns have been raised over increasing attacks on health care in Libya with data from the World Health Organization (WHO) showing at least 41 attacks targeting health workers and facilities have taken place across the country throughout 2018-2019, resulting in the deaths of six health workers and patients. An additional 25 health workers have been injured in attacks, with another seven assaulted.
In a call to action on the attacks, the WHO highlighted how almost three-quarters of health facilities in the country are closed or only partially functioning due to the on-going political crisis, while there is also a severe shortage of health staff. It said, as the fighting across the country continues, the number of health facilities destroyed or damaged is increasing.
“The pattern of attacks indicates that health care is being deliberately targeted in the conflict area - this is a major violation of international humanitarian law and a tragic disregard of our common humanity,” said Dr Jaffar Hussein, WHO representative.
“Such attacks are an outrage that put many more lives in danger in Libya and deprive the most vulnerable, including children and pregnant women, of their right to health services, just at the time when they need them most.”