Libyan Health Professionals Trained on Early Warning Alert and Response System

Capacity Building, Migration Health

Tunis – On 27 November IOM, the UN Migration Agency and the World Health Organization (WHO), in collaboration with the National Centre for Disease Control (NCDC), brought together 47 health professionals from across Libya to undergo a three day-training on Strengthening Disease Early Warning Alert and Response System (EWARS), which they will deploy in Libya.

Another 40 health practitioners will receive the same training during a second session, which will take place from 30 November to 2 December.

The training falls under the projects Strengthening Health Information System and Medicine Supply Chain Management (SHAMS) implemented by WHO in Libya, and Protecting Vulnerable Migrants and Stabilizing Communities in Libya implemented by IOM. Both projects are funded by the European Union.

The two groups of participants are members of rapid response teams and include surveillance officers, laboratory technicians and clinicians. They will be trained on methods for managing possible disease outbreaks of priority communicable diseases.

All 87 health trainees will also be provided with Android tablets, and will work to immediately report notifiable diseases as well as communicable diseases which will be reported on a weekly basis. Information gathered on diseases will automatically be saved on a server controlled by the NCDC.

“This is an essential first step in order to avoid disease outbreaks, especially communicable diseases, and we are pleased to be working closely with WHO, the Ministry of Health and the NCDC,” said IOM Libya Chief of Mission Othman Belbeisi

“Early diagnosis is crucial in terms of detecting diseases before they evolve and become epidemics, making it difficult to provide proper response at a later stage,” said Dr. Abdelaziz Alahlafi from WHO. “EWARS is equally a nationwide project that gathers information and puts in motion a database of widespread diseases to precipitate our response and avoid a humanitarian crisis.”

The daily notifications and weekly disease reporting from across 23 different sites have been ongoing since February 2016. By October, the reporting sites had increased to 75, and this number is expected to increase to more than one hundred sites by the end of the year.

Electronic reporting on EWARS from 13 detention centres will be received on an immediate and weekly basis, a development that is unprecedented in Libya. This reporting will also be expanded to other government recognized detention centres.

For more information, please contact: Christine Petré, IOM Libya, Tel: +216 29 240 448, Email:


  • Health professionals from across Libya attending a three day-training on Strengthening Disease Early Warning Alert and Response System (EWARS) in Tunis. Photo: IOM 2017