A young Lebanese girl has died from a scorpion sting amid an economic crisis in the country that has led to massive medical shortages and exorbitant prices on the black market.
Zahra Tleis, 9, died on 30th July after being stung by a scorpion. The girl’s family tried to find an antidote for her, but were unable to due to major medical shortages in Lebanon.
According to Arab News, important medicines are currently only available on the black market where they are being sold for high prices.
Dr. Firas Abiad, director of Rafik Hariri Governmental Hospital, said: “Unfortunately, losing patients due to medicine shortages will become more common.”
Ismail Sukkarieh, head of the National Health Authority, said even medicines for dog bites are currently unavailable, adding: “Such injections should be available in large quantities in hospitals, and especially governmental hospitals, but have gone missing due to negligence and the medicine crisis.”
Warning that the country could collapse if the situation worsens, Sukkarieh said that Lebanese citizens are “paying the price for the irresponsibility of officials and the accumulation of ill-conceived, corrupt and scandalous policies”.
Since 2019, the country has been facing economic collapse and the World Bank described the situation as “one of the world’s worst crises since the 1850s”.
Over half the population reportedly lives under the poverty line while the country’s currency has lost over 90 percent of its value against the American dollar.
Even the country’s main power company, Electricite du Liban (EDL), has been struggling to provide electricity amid major fuel shortages, with some homes rationed for 22 hours a day.
Meanwhile, even those with generators are unable to run them due to petrol and diesel shortages in the country.