The World Health Organization (WHO) is concerned about the rise in measles cases in Libya, especially in the municipalities of the south and west, it said on Wednesday.
Libya's National Center for Disease Control reported that during 2023, 93 of 391 suspected measles cases had been confirmed, with no related deaths.
The most affected areas were Althanawia, Almashrua', Hay Abdel Kafy, Altaury, and Altadamon in the Sebha municipality and Tenenei in Bani Walid municipality.
“The re-emergence of sporadic outbreaks is a worrying sign of a heightened risk for spreading vaccine-preventable diseases that could place children's health at significant risk,” says Elizabeth Hoff, WHO Representative in Libya. “The ongoing conflict, pandemic-related disruptions, and increasing inequalities in access to vaccines globally and in the Region have led to the diversion of resources from routine immunization programs in Libya, leaving children unprotected against measles and other vaccine-preventable diseases.”
The WHO urged Libyan health authorities and the international community to provide more support to help address critical health needs in the country.
It also acknowledges the efforts made by the National Center for Disease Control and the Public Health Emergency Operations Center to respond to the current measles outbreaks by organizing supplementary immunization campaigns, improving measles case management, enhancing infection prevention and control measures, and launching risk communication and community engagement activities in the outbreak areas while supporting routine immunization efforts.