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WHO hosts health sector coordination meeting at its premises in Libya

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The monthly meeting brought together representatives from all the United Nations and national organizations working on health-related issues in LibyaThe monthly meeting brought together representatives from all the United Nations and national organizations working on health-related issues in Libya

27 December 2017, Tunis – A health sector coordination meeting for Libya was held on 20 December 2017 at the premises of the World Health Organization (WHO) in Libya.

The monthly meeting brought together representatives from all the United Nations and national organizations working on health-related issues in Libya, namely the United Nations Children’s Fund, the International Organization for Migration, the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs, The United Nations Population Fund, the International Committee of the Red Cross, the Libyan Red Crescent, the International Rescue Committee, Handicap International, the Shaikh Tahir Azzawi Charity Organization, the Libyan Ministry of Health, and WHO.

During the meeting, the nutrition sub-group and the reproductive health sub-group presented updates in the areas of nutrition and reproductive health. The situation regarding anemia among pregnant women, girls under 18 years, young children, and immigrants in detention centres in Libya was discussed as an indicator of the existence of malnutrition in some parts of the country. Participants also discussed the initiatives being implemented to assist the Ministry of Health in addressing nutrition-related health issues in the country.

Participants at the meeting also discussed health updates regarding remote management, third-party monitoring, and the reputational risks, among others, of cash transfers.

WHO Libya gave a technical presentation on the “Who is Where, When, doing What (4Ws) in Mental Health and Psychosocial Support in Libya” report, which triggered a productive discussion on how to make the best use of the information generated by this assessment, and future steps to be taken to address mental health and psychosocial support interventions in the country.

Participants were also given an update on the status of the Essential Package of Hospital Services, current related activities, and Package area coverage, in order to avoid any duplication of activities.

Health care services assessment in the country’s detention centres was also addressed during the meeting; a needs assessment survey, generally related to communicable diseases, reproductive health, and wounds/trauma, will be carried out soon. However, the Ministry of Health highlighted the fact that it did not have sufficient capacity to assess health in detention centres.

Discussions on the latest Early Warning and Response Network (EWARN) update noted that the number of alerts has increased due to an increase in the number of sentinel sites (from 77 to 125). Reports from 3 internally displaced persons camps were also received.

Participants also reviewed the new issue of the Health Sector Bulletin, which is due to be issued at end of December 2017 and which will be followed by a special issue in January 2018 highlighting the main achievements of each stakeholder during 2017.

Activities and issues related to mobile medical teams deployed by the International Rescue Committee to Misrata and Sirt, by WHO to Ghat, and by the United Nations Population Fund to Al Jufra, through the Tripoli Crisis Management Team, were also discussed at the meeting.

Similar health sector coordination meetings with all Ministry of Health departments and national and international partners, co-chaired by the Ministry of Health and WHO, are now to be held monthly in Libya.