Tripoli — AT least six health workers and patients have been killed in recent weeks during increasing attacks on health facilities in Libya. Some 25 doctors have been injured during the 41 attacks documented.
An additional seven health workers were also assaulted.
As the fighting across the country continues, the number of health facilities destroyed or damaged by attacks is increasing, depriving thousands of people in need of urgent and essential health care.
In Libya, almost 75 percent of health facilities are closed or only partially functioning due to the ongoing political crisis, and there is a severe shortage of health staff.
The World Health Organisation (WHO) warned of increasing attacks on health facilities and workers in both frequency and scale.
"WHO once again demands that all parties in the conflict respect the safety of health workers, health facilities and medical supplies, and the overall sanctity of health care," said Dr Jaffar Hussein, WHO representative in Libya.
Hussein said the pattern of attacks indicated that health care was being deliberately targeted, which is a major violation of international humanitarian law.
"Such attacks are an outrage that put many more lives in danger in Libya and deprive the most vulnerable, including children and pregnant women, of their right to health services, just at the time when they need them most."
Libya is enduring a series of conflicts after the overthrow of Muamar Gadaffi in 2011 following North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) rebellion jointly sanctioned by the United States and France.