Nine years ago, Libyans were aspiring to make a change, with which prosperity and development prevail in all life sectors, including the healthcare system. However, the outbreak of the civil war (2011), laid a heavy burden on them and narrowed their pathway to a sustainable future. The damage affected all aspects of life including the education sector, economic institutions, and even the demographic composition of the population, but the greatest damage of all was probably done to the health sector.
The structural damage to hospitals which is caused by the ongoing clashes, according to the 2018 Multi-Sector Needs Assessment, and the lack of well-trained medical staff, as well as the looting of medical supplies and equipment have impacted the affordability of available medicine and limited access to treatment and healthcare. To make it worse, the outbreak of the Coronavirus epidemic and its quick spread result in a severe disability in providing even the basic health services to the public, especially migrants and IDPs.
In spite of the outbreaks of war and COVID-19, which have resulted in a huge shift in life in Libya and imposed unprecedented challenges on making the needed changes that Libyans called for in 2011, the will to change the reality into a better one is called forth again, but this time more than ever. In favor of the public good, some Libyan civil communities have decided to cooperate with international organizations and work on projects to boost the performance of the healthcare system in Libya.
One of these projects is called “Recovery, Stability and Socio-economic Development in Libya” funded by the European Union with the EU Trust Fund – North Africa Window and implemented by AICS, UNDP and UNICEF to improve access to basic services in 24 municipalities across Libya. In this framework Helpcode in collaboration with ODP, under the supervision of the AICS, carries out activities in 2 municipalities with a specific focus on health. The project’s main goal is to make the access to appropriate quality health services available and guaranteed for the displaced and migrants in the municipalities of Zawya and Ghat/Tahala, by increasing the capacity of six medical centers, as well as developing appropriate primary and emergency secondary health care services.
In order to achieve the project’s aims, a plan of three phases is worked on and has already begun to be executed. The first phase is the evaluation of the targeted six centers. The evaluation will help identify the requirements needed to start the next phase of maintenance and supplying equipment. Afterwards, the final stage of the project is training medical staffs. The rehabilitation phase continues for 18 months, after which the centers will be eligible to provide high-quality services.
In such hard circumstances of war and COVID-19, working on the project is no easy thing. However, the will of the working team to change for the better is stronger than any circumstances, no matter how harsh. The will, the dedication, the spirit of cooperation and the concerted work seen in this project represent the strong ability and determination of Libyans to overcome all the obstacles and build the future they aspire for.