The World Health Organization (WHO) said it was concerned about the rise in measles cases in Libya, especially in the municipalities of the south and west, adding that in the epidemiological weeks 1 to 9, the Libyan National Center for Disease Control reported that 93 of 391 suspected measles cases had been confirmed, with no related deaths.

“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,” said Elizabeth Hoff, WHO Representative in Libya.

She added that 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 programmes in Libya, leaving children unprotected against measles and other vaccine-preventable diseases.

WHO urged the Libyan health authorities and the international community to provide more support to help address critical health needs in the country, saying it acknowledged the efforts made by the National Centre for Disease Control and the Public Health Emergency Operations Centre 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.