UN Humanitarian Coordinator, WHO condemn attack on Sabha medical center

Sabha Medical Center

The UN Humanitarian Coordinator and the World Health Organization (WHO) condemn the armed attack occurring on 30 April in Sabha Medical Center in the South of Libya. While no hospital staff or patients were injured, the incident took place in a ward with women and children, causing fear and undue stress for those seeking medical treatment. Amidst the ongoing tension and escalation of conflict in southern Libya, it is of utmost importance that health services can be delivered safely.

Repeated attacks on health facilities can lead to closure of health facilities, add to the sufferring of Libyan people, and further deprive the already limited access people have to medical care.

Sabha Medical Centre is working under very challenging conditions with limited supplies and resources to save lives and provide medical services to the whole South of Libya. In continuing their work to provide health care, they deserve greater protection.

Across Libya, almost 75% of all health facilities are closed or only partially functioning and face vast shortages in health staff. Southern Libya is particularly affected and repeated attacks on health facilities will deprive thousands of people in the South of Libya of urgently needed life-saving health care.

WHO once again urges all parties in the conflict to respect the safety and neutrality of health workers and health facilities in line with International Humanitarian Law. All necessary precautionary measures should be taken to ensure that people’s basic right to health is protected, regardless of political affiliation or geographic location. The integrity and neutrality of health must be safeguarded for all.

A preliminary humanitarian assessment further indicates that 350 people have left their homes in the area of escalating hostilities near Tamanhint airbase. Their main needs are safe shelter, food and non-food items, and medical services.

Humanitarian actors, including the health sector continue monitoring the situation in Sabha and will continue to provide emergency assistance, as required.

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