Following the outbreak of conflict in February 2011, International Medical Corps immediately deployed teams in Libya to provide emergency medical services, train local health workers and deliver vital medicines and supplies. As the conflict has now ended, the country is on the path to rebuilding. International Medical Corps has remained in Libya, shifting its programs from emergency services to longer term projects aimed at supporting efforts to eliminate major gaps in health care and restore the necessary infrastructure. To do this, International Medical Corps is working with the Libyan health sector to address the primary health, mental health and rehabilitation needs of a country emerging from war.
- Primary Health Care & Nursing Support
As part of the emergency response, International Medical Corps’ team of health specialists supported primary health care through 15 clinics across Libya, training a range of health professionals and strengthening local health capacity. Moving forward, International Medical Corps is focusing its efforts on filling staffing gaps in nursing throughout the country, caused partly by the departure of many foreign nurses, which comprised the backbone of the nursing staff. International Medical Corps is working to develop national nursing capacity through increasing the number of qualified foreign nurses, as well as providing on the job training and lectures to local nursing personnel to increase their skills and knowledge.
- Rehabilitation Support
As many suffered war-related injuries, rehabilitation services for the disabled have been identified as a critical health need in Libya. International Medical Corps is working to support rehabilitation centers throughout Libya, both through the provision of much needed equipment, as well as in depth training for physiotherapists and nurses. Trainings have included issues of trauma and rehabilitation, and multi-disciplinary enhanced recovery techniques.
- Addressing Gender Based Violence (GBV) & Protection
GBV is a serious problem, and one that Libya currently has limited capacity to deal with. International Medical Corps is taking a multi-sectoral approach to address this issue through integrating GBV services into existing programs. International Medical Corps is training local health workers in the prevention and response to GBV. In addition, International Medical Corps is working to increase awareness within the general population and local and government institutions. International Medical Corps is also working to support the Ministry of Social Affairs to improve access to social welfare services for children and families at risk of or exposed to violence. This is being implemented through the establishment of clear training curricula and procedural guidelines for social workers.
- Mental Health & Psychosocial Training
In addition to the physical wounds of war, many Libyans are also facing long-term psychological distress related to the conflict. With a broken health infrastructure and cultural stigma towards mental health needs, many are suffering from a lack of access to services. To address this need, International Medical Corps is training local health workers throughout Libya in Psychological First Aid. Mental health services have also been integrated into all of International Medical Corps’s programs delivering primary health care.
LIBYA: EMERGENCY RESPONSE
During the war in Libya, International Medical Corps delivered a country-wide response, including in eastern Libya, Misurata and Zliten, the Western Mountains, Tripoli, as well as the Egyptian and Tunisian border regions that received large numbers of Libyans and third country nationals fleeing the violence. During the conflict, International Medical Corps teams achieved the following:
- 78 health facilities supported
- 95,000+ medical consultations & surgeries delivered
- 267 doctors & nurses deployed
- 464 patients evacuated by boat
- 2,200+ evacuees provided emergency care
- 2,500 health workers trained
- 192+ tons of medicines, supplies, equipment, food, & relief items delivered