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Poor GNA Policies Blamed for Spread of Skin Disease in Libya

Poor GNA Policies Blamed for Spread of Skin Disease in Libya

Sunday, 27 October, 2019 - 07:15
A woman shows signs of CL on her arm. (Getty Images)

The poor policies of the Government of National Accord (GNA) have been blamed for the spread of the Cutaneous Leishmaniasis (CL) disease in Libya.


CL is transmitted through sandfly bites, causing skin lesions. A lack of medicine and poor management of waste have been blamed for the outbreak.


The GNA has been criticized for failing to intervene quickly enough to tackle the problem, which emerged in the town of Tawergha and has spread to several other areas, including Bani Walid and Sirte.


One Tawergha resident, who returned to his hometown after eight years of displacement, accused Misrata city residents of dumping their waste in the town.


He told Asharq Al-Awsat that Misrata was taking advantage of the displacement of Tawergha residents to dump their trash there.


He revealed that a complaint had been filed to the GNA about a year ago over the issue. “We had warned that the waste will lead to the spread of dangerous diseases. Our complaints fell on deaf ears,” he lamented.


Tawergha general hospital has been flooded with people suffering from CL. Its administration revealed that it treated over 150 cases in 24 hours.


A source told Asharq Al-Awsat that the disease was spreading rapidly among the people. More than 1,000 people have been infected since April.


Swift medical treatment is being provided, but medicine is running out, he revealed.


The World Health Organization has been providing aid, but more international assistance is needed.


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