Margaret Aguirre Director, Global Communications 310.826.7800 maguirre@InternationalMedicalCorps.org
April 12, 2011, Los Angeles, Calif. - As the crisis in Libya escalates, International Medical Corps has sent essential supplies into western Libya, as well as addressed urgent health needs in eastern Libya and to evacuees on the Libya-Tunisia border.
International Medical Corps is gathering information on the humanitarian needs inside western Libya, and sending supplies to hospitals based on those needs. This past weekend, International Medical Corps sent medications, medical equipment, trauma kits, and other items, including hygiene kits, water, and insulin to Nalut. Teams also delivered surgical kits, trauma kits, medicines, and medical supplies to Misrata on Sunday. They are planning to send additional relief supplies, including medicines, food, water, and other items, as well as assess the need for additional medical evacuations.
In eastern Libya, International Medical Corps is providing supplies to the Ajdabiya General Hospital, where nearby fighting continues to be heavy. The emergency response team delivered generators, 27,000 liters of potable water, and emergency health kits to the hospital.
The eastern town of Albethnan saw an increase in internally displaced people (IDPs) following recent fighting. International Medical Corps is providing supplies, including 4,000 bars of soap and 1,000 blankets, and help in securing safe drinking water. The team is also supporting the clinic in Albethnan with medical supplies, and has trained clinic health staff in disease surveillance. There is a need for vaccines, which International Medical Corps is working to provide.
International Medical Corps is running a health post at a transit camp in Tunisia so that evacuees have immediate access to medical care upon leaving Libya. As of this weekend the clinic had provided 461 consultations since opening on March 28.The health post is also providing health education and International Medical Corps nurses are visiting all camps along the border to distribute materials on a variety of topics, such as personal hygiene and diarrhea. To address sanitation issues, International Medical Corps worked with UNICEF to create separate latrine areas for men and women in Choucha camp, and installed additional screening for privacy for 10 women’s latrines in the family area of the camp.
More than 460,000 people have fled the violence to neighboring countries, primarily Tunisia and Egypt, where International Medical Corps teams have been providing ongoing care.
Through a $2.5 million grant from USAID’s Office of Foreign Disaster Assistance (OFDA), International Medical Corps is addressing immediate health care gaps in Libya. In addition, International Medical Corps has been working to preposition essential medical supplies (such as surgical instrument sets and basic health care equipment) and non-food items (including hygiene kits, blankets, and water containers) with support from USAID/OFDA, UNICEF, WHO, Stichting Vluchteling and the Latter Day Saints Foundation and donated through gift-in-kind partners MAP International, Heart to Heart and AmeriCares.
Since its inception more than 25 years ago, International Medical Corps’ mission has been consistent: relieve the suffering of those impacted by war, natural disaster, and disease, by delivering vital health care services that focus on training. This approach of helping people help themselves is critical to returning devastated populations to self-reliance. For more information visit www.InternationalMedicalCorps.org. Also see us Facebook and follow us on Twitter.