ROME: Libyan nurses are set to take part in a groundbreaking Arabic distance learning project in cooperation with Italy’s Vatican Pediatric Hospital and the World Health Organization (WHO).
The project will see 156 Libyan nurses from eight hospitals in the country learn through the newly launched Medtraining platform.
Libyan hospitals involved in the program include Tripoli Children’s Hospital and Benghazi Children’s Hospital, the Sabha Medical Center, the hospitals of Sirte and Misurata in the Tripoli region and the Cyrenaica hospital centers of Derna, Al-Bayda and Tobruk, all in the north of the country.
The distance learning program aims to create a multilingual platform for the professional training of health personnel in developing countries.
It was presented by Bambino Gesu Hospital President Mariella Enoc, Director of the WHO Libya Office Elizabeth Hoff and Italy’s Vice-Minister of Foreign Affairs Marina Sereni following the Rome visit of Libyan Prime Minister Abdul Hamid Mohammed Dabaiba.
“The project we are sharing with the WHO in Libya responds to one of the main objectives of our hospital, which is the sharing of knowledge achieved in the fields of clinical and research. The use of the Medtraining platform and distance learning technology helps us to pursue this goal more effectively and quickly. Our aim is to promote and support the professional updating of health personnel in Libya, especially in the pediatric field,” Enoc said at the launch.
“We hope that the project can be expanded and be of help to many children who need specialist care, in Libya and in any other developing country,” she added.
The initial Medtraining agreement called for doctors and nurses from two pediatric hospitals in Tripoli and Benghazi to train at the Bambino Gesu in Rome for between three and six months. However, the outbreak of the coronavirus pandemic ended the plans.
That led to officials setting up the Medtraining distance education channel, a project that could be expanded from Libya to other developing countries.
The platform offers different training modes and interfaces in five languages: Italian, English, Arabic, French and Spanish.
Courses are uploaded on the platform and then translated into the languages.
Intensive care, neonatology, haematology, cardiology and heart surgery were the first specializations offered for training, but the program now hosts courses on onco-haematology, palliative medicine and psycho-social support.
Organizers said that once the pandemic situation subsides, training will also be provided in person by health workers involved in the project at the Bambino Gesu in Rome.
Hoff said: “It is a a great honor for the WHO to continue the partnerships established five years ago with the Vatican and the Bambino Gesu in Syria.”
She added that the project “is receiving an enthusiastic response from the nurses working in different Libyan hospitals.
Italian Deputy Foreign Minister Marina Sereni said: “This is a truly remarkable project, which ensures concrete and effective help to a country that is struggling to emerge from a 10-year crisis.”
She added that the Bambino Gesu began close pediatric care partnerships with Benghazi hospitals in 2019, which was sponsored by the Italian Government.