Emergency Medical Mobile Teams bring health services closer to people in need

Tripoli - 18 February. Due to the eight-year long political turmoil, conflict and insecurity that pushed thousands of families out of their hometowns, thousands of Internally Displaced People (IDP) live in Benghazi, Tarhouna, Baniwalid and Ajdabia. Access of IDPs and host communities to healthcare services was hampered by the partial damage or full destruction of health facilities, shortage of essential medicines and inadequate health workforce. Spread of infectious diseases namely Cutaneous Leishmaniasis, Tuberculosis (TB), Acute Watery Diarrhoea (AWD) and Acute Respiratory Infections (ARI) has been widely reported from almost every municipality in Libya. Health facilities continue to face unceasing attacks that is depriving the limited access to health services at health facility level.

With the support of Office of United States Foreign Disaster Assistance (OFDA), the World Health Organization (WHO) established four Emergency Medical Mobile Teams (EMT) and deployed to Benghazi, Ajdabia, Tarhouna, Tawargha and Baniwalid in order to respond to the pressing needs of displaced families, undocumented mgirants and poor host communities. This forms part of WHO's broader objective of providing timely basic package of healthcare services that cover the different elements of Minimum Health Service Package (MSP). Each of WHO's team consists of a general physician, a dermatologist, a gynaecologist, a paediatrician and an internal medicine and treat all patients including migrants. Since the inception of the project in January, more than 5,000 patients receive full treatment, mostly in IDP camps.

WHO is also providing medical supplies and essential medicines to EMTs and referral hospitals to ensure continuity of access to health services at all levels.

The EMTs we deployed to Ejdabia, Tarhouna, Bani-Walid, Tawargha and Benghazi have established badly needed access to health services. Our teams are providing a full package of primary health care services with referral support. Our teams meet global EMT standards with all skills required to meet the satisfaction of clients said Dr Syed Jaffar Hussain, WHO representative and head of mission to Libya.

Source: World Health Organization