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Libya: Supporting children marked by war

Explosive weapons Health Rehabilitation
Libya

Handicap International has been running operations in Libya since 2011. The organisation is now focused on helping children in Tripoli. Every day our mobile team reaches out to children with rehabilitation needs. And an awareness-raising campaign about psychosocial risks and the inclusion of children with disabilities will benefit more than 3,000 people.

A child receiving care from Handicap International's mobile team

A child receiving care from Handicap International's mobile team in Libya. | © Handicap International

Responding to needs

Every day, the mobile team, made up of a physiotherapist and two psychosocial workers, combs the internally displaced persons’ camps and the areas surrounding Tripoli, where displaced people sometimes live with host families. It identifies people with disabilities, giving priority to children with needs linked to their disability.

A total of 27 people have already received rehabilitation care in the past month, and 50 people, including 33 children, have been referred to the nearest health centres for psychological or rehabilitation care.

Displaced families are often uninformed about the medical services available, the opening hours, the costs etc. People are not receiving the care they need, despite the fact that these services are available. This is why, in addition to the activities carried out by the mobile team, the organisation plans to produce an information brochure about the health centres in Tripoli, where they are located and their specialties.

Including people with disabilities

The teams make the most of their contact with the displaced people to raise awareness of disability, providing advice on better including people with disabilities in family, community and neighbourhood life.

They also inform displaced people about psychosocial disorders and the services which are available; after five years of intermittent fighting and numerous displacements to flee the war, a lot of children show signs of anxiety, depression, or even psychological trauma. However, mental health problems are taboo in Libya. The organisation puts families in contact with organisations offering appropriate support, including leisure activities, group discussion sessions etc. Handicap International plans to refer and raise the awareness of 3,000 people through this work.

Supporting health services

Handicap International also supports physiotherapy units in four hospitals and health centres, by donating equipment such as crutches, walkers and wheelchairs. The organisation plans to provide training for medical staff in order to teach them to identify individuals showing signs of psychosocial trauma.

Raising awareness about the risks from weapons

Handicap International continues to raise people's awareness of the risks posed by anti-personnel landmines, explosive remnants of war, and small arms and light weapons, work which it has been doing since the end of 2015. A total of 44 sessions have been held since the beginning of September 2016, reaching nearly 900 people.

Date published: 17/10/16

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