Our new partnership in Libya: strengthening the primary health system

We’re delighted to be working with GIZ on a new project to promote a strengthened primary health workforce in Libya.

The years of conflict and instability in Libya have had severe implications on the country’s health system and health workforce.  The World Health Organisation calls its primary care system ‘debilitated’ and there has been an exodus of skilled health workers.

Health workers are a crucial pillar in ensuring a well-functioning resilient health system.

Primary care is the closest service to people, it is comprehensive, it is continuous and integrated, and it also works with healthy people to promote their health and protect them against diseases. Through training we can enhance the capacity of the primary health workers to provide services according to people’s needs. The health leaders need knowledge, skills, attitudes and tools” (Dr Ghassan Karem, director of the Primary Health Care Institute, Ministry of Health, Libya)

A key element to ensuring a strengthened workforce is continuous professional development (CPD) to meet the needs of the different cadres of primary healthcare workers to provide comprehensive quality care through multi-disciplinary teams.

Together with the PHC Institute of the Ministry of Health and accredited training institutions, and in consultation with health workers and key stakeholders, we will be developing an in-service training plan to create structured opportunities for doctors and nurses in primary healthcare. This will maintain and enhance these health workers skills to deliver quality services to their clients and the communities they serve.

This in-service training will be sustainable, will have the capacity to be cascaded and have the flexibility to be updated on a regular basis in line with evolving knowledge and evidence. It will also reduce fragmentation and duplication and establish agreed standards in continuous professional development within the primary healthcare sector.

PCI already has substantial experience of building PHC health workforce capacity in Libya and in other fragile settings, having worked with the UNHCR, WHO, MSF and IRC across multiple settings in Africa and the Eastern Mediterranean region since 2015.

“We look forward to working with GIZ, the Ministry of Health and other key stakeholders – leveraging our existing relationships and networks, and drawing on both Libyan expertise and international best practice to work towards designing a national CPD programme to improve quality of care through standardised in-service training for primary healthcare workers.” (Dr Mamsallah Faal-Omisore, Clinical Director,PCI)

This activity is part of the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ) funded project “Improving PHC provision in Libya”, implemented by Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) in cooperation with the Ministry of Health and PCI.