International Activity Report 2012
MSF in Libya, 2012
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In 2012, the people of Libya were still suffering the effects of the violent conflict of the previous year.
A Doctors Without Borders/Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) team began
medical activities in detention centers in the city of Misrata in August 2011. Staff treated war wounds, carried out surgery and provided follow-up care such as physiotherapy. However, doctors had been increasingly confronted with patients whose injuries had been caused by torture. After reporting 115 such cases, and with no concrete response from the authorities, in January MSF took the decision to suspend activities in the centers. Mental health support for residents of Misrata continued until March. More than 150 group counseling sessions were held to assist people’s recovery from the conflict.
Assisting the Displaced in Tripoli
As the conflict in Libya came to an end, particular groups faced persecution. Gaddafi had recruited mercenaries from sub-Saharan Africa, and Tawergha had been used as a base for Gaddafi’s forces. Sub-Saharan Africans and members of the Tawergha ethnic minority began to seek refuge in camps in the capital Tripoli. MSF carried out basic health services and offered mental health support via mobile clinics in the camps until August. MSF is negotiating with the new authorities to provide assistance in mental healthcare and help fill other gaps in health services in 2013.
At the end of 2012 MSF had 23 staff in Libya. MSF has been working in the country since 2011.