The World Health Organization (WHO) condemns the unceasing attacks on health care in Libya. On February 23, an armed man assaulted Doctor Nidhal Mohamed Ali, a WHO-contracted psychiatrist, inside a mental health clinic in Sabha. The mental health clinic is the only facility of its kind that serves Southern Libya, and Dr Ali is the only specialized psychiatrist in the entire region.
Since he started his assignment with WHO in Sabha, Dr Ali has seen 203 patients from Sabha, Ash Shatti, and Ubari, providing them with psychiatric consultations and referring them to more specialized care as needed. This recent act of intimidation disrupts the continuity of urgently needed medical services.
WHO urges all parties in the conflict in Libya to respect the safety and neutrality of health workers and health facilities. Incidents like this can and should be avoided as obligated by human rights law.