Suomi/Africa
Perspectives from Africa,
engagement from Finland
 
 

Understanding Africa

Representing Africans

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Fireworks at Kansalaistori Square, Helsinki, to celebrate a century of Finnish independence (Photo: Finland 100)

Fireworks in Helsinki, to celebrate a century of Finnish independence (Photo: Finland 100)

Helping to heal Libyan healthcare

Working with the World Health Organisation (WHO), Finnish health care experts have undertaken an assessment of Libya's post-civil war health service system. The Finnish team worked from Aprl to September 2012, in cooperation with local and international experts and drafted assessment reports on arranging the mental health services and the development of the primary health care system in Libya.
Dr Marina Erhola, Assistant Director General of Finland's National Institute for Health and Welfare (THL), with Ms Fatima Hamroush, Minister of Health, Dr Adel Abu Azza, Director of Tripoli Mental Health Hospital.
THL is a research and development institute under the Finnish Ministry of Social Affairs and Health, seeking to serve the broader society in addition to the scientific community, actors in the field and decision-makers in central government and municipalities.

Delivering high quality, enduring and realistic health reform
The Finnish team's reports were delivered to the Libyan Ministry of Health Dr Marina Erhola, Assistant Director General, THL - with Ms Fatima Hamroush, Minister of Health; and Dr Adel Abu Azza, Director of Tripoli Mental Health Hospitaland the WHO at the National Health Systems Conference held in September 2012 in Tripoli. In the conference the Finns presented several Finnish, Nordic and European models for organising the health service system. THL Assistant Director General Marina Erhola, who chaired the Finnish team, was delighted with the immense enthusiasm felt among the participating Libyan health care professionals towards the health reform.Dr Marina Erhola, Assistant Director General, THL - with Ms Fatima Hamroush, Minister of Health; and Dr Adel Abu Azza, Director of Tripoli Mental Health Hospital
The conference brought together local Libyan health professionals and expatriates, offering for the first time in years a forum to exchange views and discuss the situation of the health service system. The Libyan Ministry of Health faces high expectations toward formulating the health policy, as well as implementing and coordinating the service system reform. To achieve the goal, actions are required in regard to administration, financing, staff, the service system, information system and medicinal care.

Finnish public health expertise
The Libyans at conference expressed respect for the Finnish team’s work and the general expertise in mental health services and chronic disease prevention. Future cooperation with the WHO, the Libyan National Public Health Institute and THL.
The Finnish expert mission was funded by the Finnish Ministry for Foreign Affairs as part of the transition support targeted for the North African countries. THL International Affairs Unit was responsible for organising the visits.