Libya: MSF Provides Technical Support and Medicine after Poisoning Outbreak

March 21, 2013

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Libya: MSF Provides Technical Support and Medicine after Poisoning Outbreak © Benoit Finck

In response to an outbreak of methanol poisoning which has killed more than 70 people in Tripoli, Libya and hospitalised up to 1,000, Médecins Sans Frontières/Doctors Without Borders (MSF) sent last week  toxicology experts from Norway to provide technical assistance to the Libyan Ministry of Health. MSF also provided supplies of the antidote fomepizole, which acts by blocking the toxin produced by methanol poisoning.

The MSF toxicologists have carried out training for medical staff at Tripoli Medical Centre and Tripoli Central Hospital and have worked with Libyan doctors to put in place tools that could improve diagnosis and treatment in the case of future outbreaks.

At the time of the outbreak, a team from MSF was already in Tripoli to discuss proposals for new activities with the Libyan health authorities.

MSF first started working in Libya in February 2011, and has responded to medical needs in Benghazi, Tripoli, Misrata, Zintan, Yefran, Sirte, and Zawiyah.

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