The Department of Health has taken over St Mary’s Hospital in Mariannhill in KwaZulu-Natal. Picture: Independent Media

Johannesburg – Ghat Hospital in south-western Libya is struggling to cope with an influx of about 50 food poisoning cases due to insufficient supplies and a shortage of trained staff, the Libya Herald reports.

Insufficient IV fluids and other medication was hampering the treatment of the first patients who were rushed to the hospital’s emergency room on Monday as more emergency personnel were called in overnight.

Hospital medical director Abdul Razzaq Al-Saghir said more cases were expected after the victims were reported to have all dined at a pizzeria in the town.

There has been no word on how serious the condition some of the patients are in.

However, last year Libya’s Presidency Council head Faiez Serraj visited the town and promised that something would be done about the lack of basic services.  

And this is not the first time the hospital’s poor conditions have made media headlines.

In January last year a group of Korean doctors decided to quit their positions at Ghat Hospital due to security concerns and the fact they had not been paid.

The ongoing security crisis in the North African country has meant that there are no resident surgeons at Ghat Hospital and these have to be flown in regularly from the capital Tripoli to treat those urgent cases too ill to travel.