By Jamie Prentis.
Tunis, 13 June 2017:
The health minister in the Beida-based intermin government, Reida Oakley, has called on the World Health Organisation (WHO) to provide 10,000 vials of anti-scorpion-sting serum. Yesterday he confirmed that three people had died from scorpion stings in the Obari area. Another nine were reported to have died, he said, but these had not been confirmed.
Obari hospital recorded 12 cases in the first week of June with one person dying because of a lack of anti-venom.
According the health ministry, it had ordered the serum from Egyptian supplier Vecsera last year, via the WHO, and then sent an subsequent warning about the lack of delivery three months ago. But so far there nothing had arrived.
For its part, the health ministry at the UN-backed government in Tripoli says it has already provided 300 doses of serum for Obari, and that another 3,000 would be delivered to Tripoli today, Tuesday, for distribution to various health centres and hospitals around the country
It says issues facing the Central Bank of Libya (CBL) resulted in the delivery of the serums being delayed.
Libya’s has a variety of scorpions which are among the most dangerous in the world, included the fat-tailed scorpion andoctonus amoreuxi (andoctonus is Greek for man killer). However, healthy adults, however, do not usually succumb to scorpion stings. It is the young, the elderly and those with seriously illnesses who are most at risk.
Every summer, as temperatures rise,there is a rise in the number of people stung by scorpions. Tragically, also for the past three or four years, there have also been a rise in the number of deaths as a result, particularly in the Obari area, because of been the lack of sufficient anti-venom.