AT A GLANCE Doctors & nurses deployed
HEALTH FACILITIES SUPPORTED ACROSS LIBYA
medical consultations & surgeries EMERGENCY CARE PROVIDED FOR PEOPLE REQUIRING MEDICAL EVACUATIONS
MEDICAL EVACUATIONS BY BOAT
Health workers trained
Medicines, supplies, EQUIPMENT & RELIEF ITEMS DELIVERED
267 78 OVER 95,000 OVER 2,200
464 329 2,500 192 tons 2
Libya today is transformed from the nation it was just one year ago, when civilian demonstrators first took to the streets of Benghazi and towns in the eastern part of the country in February 2011. Before the year was out, the 42-year dictatorship of Colonel Muammar Qaddafi collapsed in the face of mass protests, armed uprising and international military action. A new government is beginning the slow process of rebuilding a nation rocked by a year of violence and upheaval. Official estimates suggest that up to 30,000 people were killed in the conflict and the fighting caused large-scale population displacement, with nearly 800,000 people crossing the border into neighboring countries. Some 220,000 Libyans still remain internally displaced today. Throughout the conflict communities faced shortages of food, water, fuel, electricity and access to adequate health care. Health facilities were stretched to their limits, while supply chains for medications and medical supplies were cut and large numbers of foreign nurses departed the country, leaving facilities with urgent shortages of these critical staff and medical supplies. Since the onset of conflict in February 2011, International Medical Corps has been on-the-ground assisting the Libyan people directly affected by the violence, supporting the countryâ€™s healthcare system through months of instability, and training local health care workers to ensure a return to self-reliance.
INTERNATIONAL MEDICAL CORPS TIMELINE IN LIBYA
Major unrest erupts in Benghazi in opposition to Libyan leader Muammar Qaddafi
International Medical Corps deploys its first Emergency Response Team to the Libyan border in Egypt to deliver services for those fleeing the violence
An Emergency Response Team arrives in Benghazi and immediately begins providing support to hospitals with medical staff and supplies
An Emergency Response Team arrives in Tunisia to assess and respond to the needs of people fleeing across the western border
International Medical Corps establishes a base of operations at Ras Ajdir transit facility in Tunisia and prepares to implement psychological first aid and latrine construction activities
Doctors deploy and first shipment of medical supplies is delivered to the besieged city of Misurata
Medical Evacuations begin from Misurata and International Medical Corps provides care for those requiring evacuations
Field hospital is established in Dafniya outside of Misurata to provide lifesaving care to casualties from the front line, including Emergency Medic Training for providers of front-line care
ambulance operations begin in the Western Mountains, transferring casualties from front line locations to hospitals in the region
International Medical Corps donates 186 boxes of drugs and consumables to the Benghazi Ministry of Health in response to an appeal for assistance
U.N. Security Council approves a no-fly zone over Libya, authorizing â€œall necessary measuresâ€? to protect civilians
Physical Rehabilitation for War-Wounded Casualties program begins at the Benghazi Medical Center Rehabilitation Unit
International Medical Corps accesses Tripoli & commences operations, re-opening the Mitiga hospital to provide care
In partnership with Libyan Volunteer Doctors, International Medical Corps opens Al Khadra hospital after the emergency department was destroyed by a missile
International Medical Corps supports field hospitals and primary health care clinics in the Sirte and Bani Walid region to provide care for casualties and IDPs as a result of the fighting over remaining pro-Qaddafi held areas
trained 500th medical practitioner in Libya in Psychological First Aid — an essential skill in working with patients who have experienced trauma
The death of the former Libyan leader Muammar Qaddafi
Start of the “16 days of Activism against Gender Violence” campaign, marked across Libya with sporting competitions, women’s marches and media campaigns organized by International Medical Corps and partners
rehabilitation activities begin at the Ibn Sina hospital in Sirte. Becomes the third major center for rehabilitation of war-wounded in Libya, alongside programs in Misurata and Benghazi
RESPONDING IMMEDIATELY TO SAVE LIVES
International Medical Corps was among the first organizations to enter Libya once the conflict began, providing emergency medical care to casualties from the fighting and support to hospitals with medical staff and supplies. Among the first challenges our Emergency Response Teams encountered was a chronic shortage of nurses, as thousands of foreign nurses had fled the country for safety. In partnership with the Jordan Health Aid Society, International Medical Corps immediately deployed volunteer nurses to health centers across eastern Libya and rapidly mobilized them to major population centers throughout the country as access permitted. Volunteer nurses trained the local counterparts while working alongside them; a key program activity that continues today.
At the countryâ€™s borders and within Libya, we supplied those displaced by the fighting with essential relief items, including blankets, bottled water and food. Recognizing the danger posed by communicable diseases, our sanitation and hygiene specialists constructed latrines and washing stations in transit camps along the Tunisia borders. As the weeks and months of fighting passed International Medical Corps worked as close to the front line as possible, providing emergency treatment to those injured in the conflict, and medicines and supplies to besieged towns and cities. In Misurata, inaccessible by road, we evacuated nearly 500 injured civilians by boat. International Medical Corps mobile field hospitals treated the wounded from battles in Tripoli, the Western Mountains, Bani Walid, Sabha, Jufrah and Qaddafiâ€™s hometown of Sirte. 6
DELIVERING ASSISTANCE WHEREVER MOST NEEDED Dr. Pranav Shetty spent two months in Libya delivering emergency care at an International Medical Corps field hospital just a few miles from the front-lines.
“I genuinely believe that they are perfectly poised to become Libya’s future leaders in emergency medicine. We recognized all of the students with an official International Medical Corps certificate to show that they went above and beyond in the thick of the civil conflict.” - Dr. Pranav Shetty on the students
“I was more nervous on the boat to Misurata than at any point of my time actually on the ground in Libya. I would feel a bit anxious when I heard the whistle of rockets falling around us. Once in Misurata, 95 percent of the injuries we treated were conflict-related, most commonly shrapnel injuries, mostly to the head, torso, and extremities.” During his time as an emergency responder in Libya, Dr. Shetty also trained 30 aspiring medics in emergency medicine. Most of the students worked in hospitals, clinics, and on the front lines during the day and then would come to class each night to develop their skills.
STAYING ON TO HELP REBUILD
Since the death of Qaddafi in October 2011 and the end of widespread fighting, International Medical Corps has remained in Libya, working alongside government agencies and local health workers to assist with post-conflict recovery efforts. Our teams of health specialists are supporting primary health care through 15 clinics across Libya, training a range of health professionals and strengthening the capacity of the Libyan health sector to tackle the health, mental health and rehabilitation needs of a country emerging from war.
International Medical Corps’ rehabilitation program, focusing on those affected by the conflict, is providing physiotherapy and psychosocial support services in Misurata, Benghazi and Sirte. To strengthen local capacity, we are training Libyan physiotherapists in rehabilitative physiotherapy. Pete Skelton, a physiotherapist from Britain is part of International Medical Corps UK’s rehabilitation team in Libya. “I have really high hopes for the future of Libya. Given time there is the potential for Libyans to have real confidence in a quality health care system in their own country without being dependent on support from outside. We are working with local people to help develop a society that is fully inclusive for all people with disabilities, including those disabled prior to the conflict and after it.” For nearly 30 years, International Medical Corps has operated in conflict and post-conflict settings and has a keen awareness of the importance of ensuring that relief and recovery efforts are comprehensive and multi-sectoral. As such, we are working to expand the mental health and psychosocial services available to those affected by war and dislocation. Through training of social workers and psychologists to work alongside physiotherapists, our rehabilitation programs provide comprehensive treatment of injuries from the conflict.
In coordination with the newly established National Prevention Against Violence Committee, International Medical Corps is helping to strengthen the ability of local health care workers to identify, manage, and appropriately treat survivors of Gender-Based Violence (GBV) and help whole communities prevent GBV. International Medical Corps is also focusing on building the reproductive health services available to women in Libya, generally through primary health centers, in order to bring down the numbers of preventable maternal and newborn deaths, levels of sexual violence, unwanted pregnancies and sexually transmitted infections.
Partnerships International Medical Corps works closely with a range of national and international stakeholders in Libya to continue to identify and address needs post-conflict in its areas of operation. Key partners include the Ministry of Health; Ministry of Social Affairs; Ministry of Wounded, Martyrs, and Missing Persons; Tripoli Psychiatric Hospital; National Prevention Against Violence Committee; Misurata Medical Committee and other relevant regional health committees; the Jordan Health Aid Society; GBV and Mental Health Working Groups; LibAid; UN agencies, the health and protection clusters, including WHO, UNHCR, and UNFPA; and other health actors. 9
What Does the Future Hold for LIBYA? Through our commitment to training and collaboration with the Ministry of Health, International Medical Corps is building local capacity and working to strengthen the health care system in Libya, with a focus on areas that have traditionally lacked capacity. The events of the past 12 months have shown the determination of the Libyan people to decide their own fate. With the support of International Medical Corps, Libya is building the capacity of its health sector, enabling its people to live healthy, self-reliant lives and secure a brighter future.
THANK YOU TO THE GENEROUS INDIVIDUALS AND INSTITUTIONS THAT DONATED MONEY AND RESOURCES TO SUPPORT RELIEF AND RECOVERY EFFORTS IN LIBYA
1919 Santa Monica Blvd., Suite 400, Santa Monica, CA 90404 USA www.InternationalMedicalCorps.org * Photos included in this report are of our work in Libya and at border facilities in Tunisia and Egypt supporting those fleeing the conflict.