Libya: Children marked by war

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Responding to needs

Every day, a physical therapist and two psychosocial workers comb the internally displaced persons’ camps and areas around Tripoli, where displaced people sometimes live with host families. The Handicap International mobile team identifies people with disabilities, giving priority to children. Twenty-seven individuals received rehabilitation care this past month, and 50 people–including 33 children–have been referred to the nearest health centers for psychological or rehabilitation care. 

Displaced families are often ill informed about medical services available to them, costs, or opening hours, so they're not receiving the care they need. In addition to the mobile team's activities, Handicap International is producing an informational brochure about the health centers, where they are located, and the services they provide. 

Including people with disabilities 

Mobile teams also raise awareness about disabilities, and provide tips on how to include people with disabilities in family and community life. 

Staff also inform displaced people about psychosocial disorders and the services available to them. After five years of intermittent fighting and numerous displacements to flee the war, many children show signs of anxiety, depression, and even psychological trauma. However, mental health problems are taboo in Libya. Handicap International connects families with other organizations that offer specific support, including leisure activities, and group discussion sessions. Through this project, Handicap International will help 3,000 people.

Supporting health structures 

Handicap International supports physical therapy units in four hospitals and health centers by providing mobility devices such as crutches, walkers, and wheelchairs. The organization will also train medical staff how to identify individuals that show signs of psychosocial trauma. 

The risks of 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 we've been doing since the end of 2015. A total of 44 sessions have been held since the beginning of September, reaching nearly 900 people.

Handicap International has been running operations in Libya since 2011. Learn more about our work in Libya.