By Libya Herald reporter.
Tunis, 29 January 2018:
Tripoli Medical Centre received 11 seriously ill patients suffering from alcohol poisoning over the last few days, with four dying.
The Presidency Council’s Health Ministry said three had gone blind after consuming illegal, homemade moonshine, known locally as Bokha.
On Thursday, ambulances brought three desperately sick people in for treatment and they all survived. Friday saw five patients come in, with two dying and three going blind. Finally, on Saturday three were brought in of which two died.
A statement by the Health Ministry said no other hospitals in Tripoli had reported any other cases.
Libya is a dry country but that doesn’t stop some turning to the black market for alcohol. While this can include smuggled, legitimate substances, it can often include homemade Bokha which can be tainted by methanol.
March 2013 saw a deadly wave of alcohol poisonings and deaths when at least 60 died and another 1,000 taken sick. The batch of homebrew was understood to have been contaminated by a deadly amount of methanol.
Tripoli’s limited number of dialysis centres only worsened the issue.