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Libya Gunfire: WHO rushes medical aid as the wounded exceed 260

DR. Jaffar Hussain (M), Head of WHO country office of Libya visits some of the casualties at Tajoura Cardiac Clinic. (COURTESY PHOTO)

TRIPOLI, Libya – As clashes around Tripoli continued and the number of wounded rose to the hundreds, WHO reacted swiftly to provide field hospitals and ambulances with critically-needed life-saving supplies.

“We have sent emergency medical teams to help frontline hospitals cope with caseloads and to support surgical staff in collaboration with the Ministry of Health,” said Dr. Syed Jaffar Hussain, WHO Representative in Libya.

“We also plan to deploy additional emergency teams and supplies to support first-line responders and have activated 3 sets of contingency stocks, which were pre-positioned in strategic sites before the fighting began,” he added.

Heavy shelling and gunfire in the Libyan capital over the past 6 days has wounded 266 people and killed 56, including an ambulance driver and 2 medical doctors. Thousands of people have fled their homes, while others are trapped in conflict areas. Hospitals inside and outside the city are receiving daily casualties.

In addition to pre-positioning medical supplies to support the city’s hospitals, WHO has also sent an emergency medical team with trauma supplies to Tarhouna Hospital, near Tripoli, and is also working with partners to support the medical needs of the displaced and migrants.

But the work of ambulance and hospital teams is being hampered by continuous shelling and armed clashes, including around heavily populated residential areas. Emergency teams face fuel shortages and migrants, who have been moved from detention centres, may not be receiving the medical care they need.

DR. Jaffar Hussain checks a heart-suffering minor at Tajoura Cardiac Clinic. (COURTESY PHOTO)

“We fear that prolonged conflict will lead to more casualties, drain the area’s limited supplies and further damage health infrastructure,” said Dr Hussain. “We call on the international community to ensure adequate funding to support the current crisis.”

Japan has also shown its deep concern that violence has been claiming many lives and caused injuries in the neighbourhood of Tripoli.

Following this, it has called on all parties concerned to stop immediately all military operations as it says that there is no military solution to the conflict in Libya.

Japan also believes that the process of the political process in which all parties participate is indispensable to the stability of Libya.

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