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WHO raises concerns after Libya deaths

Posted at 11:45 AM, May 06, 2016
and last updated 2016-05-06 11:45:40-04

BENGHAZI, Libya (AP) — The U.N. health agency has expressed concerns over the death of 12 newborns in a southern impoverished Libyan province, warning of a "major breakdown" of the health system in the war-torn North African country.

World Health Organization says the babies died of a bacterial infection and lack of specialized medical staff at the neonatal center in Sabha province, the only one providing neonatal care in the vast southern Libyan region. The babies died in mid-April.

WHO's Libya envoy, Jaffar Hussain Syed, said Friday that "these tragic deaths occurred as a result of easily preventable causes"

He says, "if urgent action is not taken, further loss of life is feared, particularly among the most vulnerable populations."

Libya sunk into chaos after the 2011 ouster and killing of dictator Moammar Gadhafi.