The Foreign Ministry has made a donation to help alleviate the Libyan methanol poisoning crisis, giving 7,000 euros to the international humanitarian-aid Doctors Without Borders and sending a specialist to the country.
At least 60 people have died since March 14 in the Libyan capital Tripoli after drinking contaminated alcohol and close to 700 have been seriously injured, said a statement by the Foreign Ministry.
The foreign minister, Urmas Paet, said the methanol epidemic could last for several weeks in the North African country.
“Both the capital Tripoli and other hospitals in Libya are asking for international support. Thus we decided to support the Doctors Without Borders humanitarian mission in Libya to buy the necessary medicine and antidotes,” said Paet.
Pärnu anesthesiologist and toxicology expert Raido Paasma will be sent to Libya with the ministry-bought medicine, to provide aid for the victims. Paasma has had experience treating methanol poisoning as he dealt with the 2001 Pärnu County methanol crisis and the aftermath. The Pärnu crisis claimed 68 lives.
The consumption and purchase of alcohol is illegal in Libya. Black markets provide the alternative.