Strengthening COVID-19 response in Libya
By International Medical Corps
Libya is battling COVID-19 amid a context of conflict, displacement and destruction of health facilities as well as loss of life and injury—in this sense, the pandemic is yet another catastrophe within a catastrophe.
To help the Libyan health system fight COVID-19, International Medical Corps began to adjust the Libyan health system to the disease in March, before the first case of COVID-19 was confirmed. Thanks to support from Start Fund COVID-19, we have strengthened the capacity of health facilities in Misrata, Sabha, and Tripoli so that these facilities can better cope and respond to the COVID-19 emergency.
When asked about the effects of COVID-19 on their day-to-day work, health professionals at the International Medical Corps’ supported facilities said that the number of consultations had been reduced by 50 percent at the beginning of the outbreak. Fearing exposure to the virus, community members no longer wanted to seek medical assistance. The medical staff at the facilities also stressed that there wasn’t enough personal protective equipment (PPE) at hand.
"No one was prepared for this pandemic, not even hospitals. Dealing with suspected cases also affected the mental well-being of health workers.", said Hussain Adnan- PHC Manager at Shuhada Abduljalil PHC.
Under the Start Fund COVID-19 project, International Medical Corps implemented two major activities in response to the COVID-19 pandemic:Training healthcare staff on Infection, Prevention, and Control (IPC), as well as case management and distribution of PPE. Throughout the project, the organisation has trained 314 health professionals and distributed 313,464 PPE items.