Over 100 health workers have died due to Libya floods: WHO

Over 100 health workers have died due to Libya floods: WHO
2 min read
06 October, 2023
The World Health Organisation has reported that 101 health workers were among the over 4,333 people who had so far been confirmed dead.
101 health workers in Libya have lost their lives following Storm Daniel [Getty]

More than 100 health workers in Libya lost their lives during Storm Daniel and subsequent flooding, the World Health Organisation (WHO) has revealed.

The global health body said that 101 medics died in the floods that devastated Derna among the 4,333 people who died in total.

Another 8,500 are still missing after the storm hit the Derna area on 10 and 11 September, causing dams to collapse and a torrent of water to hit the eastern Libyan city.

Storm Daniel has exacerbated Libya’s many problems, with the loss of health workers a crippling blow to the country's crumbling healthcare system.

Libya's medical system has been heavily impacted by more than a decade of conflict, which has led to shortages of staff, medicine, and medical equipment.  

Dr Ahmed Zouiten, Libya's WHO representative, paid tribute to the health workers who died in the floods.

"The WHO stands with the people of Libya in mourning the loss of so many dedicated health workers," he said.

"These 101 doctors, nurses and paramedics who lost their lives are not only missed by their families and loved ones; the whole community is affected by their departure and certainly the health sector in eastern Libya and beyond will be hit hard."

He said the WHO will honour the memory of the medics by restoring destroyed healthcare facilities and continue their legacy by saving lives, protecting the vulnerable, and serving communities in Libya. 

UN Libya has also urged officials in Libya to unite over a strategy to rebuild cities destroyed by floods and support the people affected.

The disaster took place after two dams, poorly maintained amid years of a war-torn Libya, burst under the pressure of torrential rains from Storm Daniel. 

Since then, whole neighbourhoods of Derna have disappeared into the sea as the water hit. The storm also affected many parts of eastern Libya, but Derna was impacted most of all due to the collapse of the two dams in its vicinity.