from AHMED ZAYED in Tripoli, Libya
TRIPOLI, (CAJ News) – INCREASING attacks by militants have forced the indefinite closure of more than 50 health centres in and around the Libyan capital, Tripoli.
The armed groups have also seized three ambulances and government cars at some hospitals that have come under attack as the violence escalated this week.
Four major hospitals- AlAjaylat, Oncology, Sabratha and Surman- are among facilities closed as a result of the militancy. They were providing an average of 18 000 medical consultations every week
Some 25 of the 51 health centres closed after heavy clashes are in Sabratha.
The main hospital in the area was providing 360 beds and almost 10 000 medical consultations weekly before it suspended operations.
Most of the cars seized by the radicals were taken there.
“In addition, all previously functioning primary health care centers and private clinics stopped their services as well,” a spokesperson of the World Health Organisation (WHO) lamented.
The hostilities in western Libya have continued to cause civilian casualties and triggered new displacement at a time when the country is responding to the threat of the COVID-19 pandemic.
On Sunday, heavy shelling struck an ambulance near the town of Misrata, killing a paramedic.
It was the ninth attack on health facilities this year.
A total of five people have been killed and 12 others injured during the conflict-related incidents affecting field hospitals, health care workers, ambulances and medical supplies.
Escalating hostilities in western Tripoli are disrupting critical health services as Libya focuses on combating the coronavirus pandemic.
Libya has confirmed 35 cases and one death.
– CAJ News