Since September 2020, a team of two Libyan doctors and a matron have decided to leave their home towns and head to Ghat (which is located in the southern area of Libya, on the borders with Algeria), to join the “Training on the Job Team”, a training program that aims at raising the efficiency of health workers in Ghat. This team provides practical training to health care personnel which work in Ghat’s municipalities; Tahala, Al-Awenat, and Ghat center. For the purpose of achieving common benefit, covering the entire geographical area, and providing quality on the job training, the team rotates among the three facilities in the three municipalities, 10 days for each in a month.
Causing a profound suffering to people, and due to many reasons, the acute shortage of the medical staff in Ghat as one of the major problems has been intensified over the years. The shortage as a smaller sample casts light on the overall weakness of the entire health system in Ghat, which has worsened in the midst of COVID-19 pandemic that sharply affects the South, accounting for about 40% of total COVID-19 cases in Libya. Due to this critical situation, a “training on Job team” has been suggested to be sent to fill the gap, and at the same time, to provide on-job training to HCWs on sites.
Although the main objective of the program is to transfer the team’s knowledge and experience to the trainees, yet the team has not stop there; they have provided practical field training during which they as qualified specialists supervise the interns. More specifically, they follow up the mechanisms of contributing various treatment protocols, deal with critical cases, and offer intensive health services, as well as a regular follow-up program for chronic diseases, last but not least, they also provide all medical services to the people of the targeted areas around- the-clock.
“The main purpose which motivates us to be part of this team is our humanitarian duty as doctors”, Says Dr. Salem Ramadan Abu, a member of the team, a pediatric, “We are doing our best to ease the daily life of all inhabitants, especially for those who live in remote places. I always say to my self that Saving one soul, one child, deserves all that hardness , indeed, it deserves all.” Not only children but also women in Ghat suffer beyond description because of the shortage of medical services in these special circumstances. According to Mrs. Fatehya Alayeb, a matron in the” Training on Job Team” a matron, Libyan women in remote places suffer extremely from the absence of medical staff in Ghat, especially gynecologists,
In one month, the team has trained 34 trainees on different topics and offered several medical services to 659 outpatient Intern Medicine Consultation in the three municipalities, including immigrants and displaced persons. Furthermore, the team holds periodic awareness-raising meetings on protection and prevention of the infections of COVID-19.
The training activities are planned to be done in six months, within the second phase of the project “Baladiyati – Recovery, stability and socioeconomic development in Libya” project financed by the European Union through the EU Trust Fund – North Africa Window and implemented jointly by AICS, UNDP and UNICEF to improve access to basic services in 24 municipalities all over Libya.
Helpcode, with local partner ODP (Organisation of Development Pioneers), is working on this project to rehabilitate a number of medical centres in the Zawya and Ghat districts and train local medical and nursing staff. This will make it possible to supply quality healthcare services to all residents in the municipalities involved in the project and in nearby marginal areas.
The team is so enthusiastic to finish all the missions in their health care plan, aiming at building a bridge through the training on the job to cross over into the bank of knowledge and experience. Doing so, they hope to shorten the distances and time, as well as to refine the skills in the medical fields. For them, saving lives, training medical staff and providing quality health services are not a choice, but a priority that must be crystallized into real actions on the ground because all Libyan lives matter, children women old people, indeed all of them matter.