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Libya: Libya Health Profile



Health status has improved: The Government provides free health care to all citizens. The country has completed high coverage in most basic health areas. The mortality rate for children aged less than 5 years fell from 160 per 1000 live births in 1970 to 20 in 2000. In 1999, 97% of one-year-old children were vaccinated against tuberculosis and 92% against measles.

Disease control: The priority areas are: noncommunicable diseases, HIV/AIDS prevention and control, tuberculosis (TB) and disease surveillance. A strategic plan for 2005–2009 for HIV/AIDS includes the introduction of a harm reduction programme, voluntary testing and counselling. Cardiovascular diseases, hypertension, diabetes and cancer account for significant mortality and morbidity. The risk factors contributing to noncommunicable diseases as well include emerging obesity and high level of smoking. Road traffic accidents (RTA) result in 4–5 deaths per day and are a major burden of disease.

Health services: The General People’s Committee (GPC) through the Central Health Body is responsible for direction and performance of health services and health status. The actual execution is the mandate of the shabiat. Almost all levels of health services (promotive, preventive, curative and rehabilitative) are decentralized, except Tripoli Medical Centre and Tajoura Cardiac Hospital, which are centrally run. A growing private health sector is emerging. The Government encourages the expansion of private clinics and hospitals. The family physician practices and health insurance are being introduced. The country enjoys a very high rate of primary health care.
Health data system: The objective of national health data system strategy supports and enhances the CCS and all its strategic elements, inclunding disease surveillance, burden of disease studies, health promotion, monitoring of national health related Millennium Development Goals (MDGs).

Water supply and sanitation: The Great Man-made River (GMR) project is transporting fresh water from underground aquifers in the south-east to supply major urban areas in the north. As well 11 new water desalination plants are being built. The environmental problems include over-exploitation of groundwater resources, pollution and poor waste management. A national approach is needed to link the environmental health activities, inclunding food safety to related disease control programmes. (source who)

Although there are some charges for appropriate care requirements, health care has essentially been free to all citizens since 1970 and services have been improving over time. The public health budget has averaged close to 3% of GDP in recent years and is estimated at 3.7% in 2008. As communicable diseases have been brought largely under control, the focus on attacking non-communicable diseases has intensified. This is particularly authentic with cardio-vascular and chronic respiratory diseases, cancer and diabetes. An extra major risk is the increasing number of road traffic accidents. In 2007, 11.2% of hospital deaths were the consequence of traffic accidents. The health sector faces a number of challenges, inclunding underfunding, a lack of data due to low levels of computerisation and a decline in the quality of medical staff. The public health system has served the country well, but it has become outdated and inefficient. As a result, Libyans who are able to afford it are increasingly looking to the private sector, or additional often travelling abroad in search of better health care.


• The human resources for health planning, production and management pose considerable
• There is an urgent need for improving the health data system in a way that it is maintained as part of the health system in a coordinated manner to serve all health care
delivery areas
• Coordination part national institution is a challenge. As well procedures and application protocols are needed for better management and accountability.
• The highest toll of morbidity and mortality are related to noncommunicable diseases, but diseases such as HIV/AIDS, hepatitis, measles and tuberculosis still pose a problem.
• The high prevalence of smoking and road traffic accidents are challenges for health and all related sectors.

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