Libyan Health Minister & US Companies Discuss Ways of Enhancing Medical Cooperation


On Saturday, the Deputy Prime Minister of the Interim Government of National Unity (GNU), Minister-designate of Health, Ramadan Abu Jinnah, held talks with representatives of major United States (US) companies manufacturing medicines and medical supplies.

During the meeting, which was attended by the US Special Envoy and Ambassador to Libya, Richard Norland, the attendees discussed ways aimed at strengthening cooperation between Libyan and the US in the manufacture of medical supplies.

The Libyan Minister also met with Scott Eisner, President of the US Chamber of Commerce’s US- Africa Business Centre, in the presence of a number of representatives of major US companies manufacturing medicines and medical supplies.

In a statement, the Health Ministry said that the meeting touched on strengthening cooperation between the Libyan Ministry of Health and US companies specialized in manufacturing medical supplies.

On his part, Abu Jinnah expressed the importance of the return of US medical companies to operate again in Libya. He highlighted the Tripoli-based government’s plans to establish development companies and facilitate the return of foreign investments in the North African country.

On the other hand, dozens of healthcare personnel organized, in February, a demonstration in front of the Cabinet Office in the Libyan capital, Tripoli, to protest the deteriorating health conditions in the country.

The protesters called for “a full-time Minister with high experience and competence in charge of the affairs of the Ministry.”

The former Minister, Ali Al-Zanati resigned from his post in December, citing the end of the government’s legal mandate, as per the United Nations (UN) peace plan, as the reason for his decision.

The demonstrators carried banners demanding an increase in their salaries, like their colleagues in other cities in the healthcare sector. They also demanded the payment of their frozen salaries since 2015.

The protesters also chanted for the dismissal of Abu Jinnah and “every official who offended them.”

Services and utilities have deteriorated, the healthcare system has all but collapsed, and power outages have become the norm. However, successive governments are still promising to resolve these crises.

Al-Zanati indicated that Libya is suffering from severe political division amid a lack of political consensus and national unity, stressing that the country is heading toward division and fragmentation.

Al-Zanati’s resignation comes just two days after Prime Minister Abdelhamid Dbaiba reinstated him to his post in the wake of the court ruling that cleared him from financial misconduct charges.

“It is difficult for me to continue as health minister in the GNU, whose mandate expired according to the Geneva political agreement, and the legislative authority,” Al-Zanati noted.

In December 2022, Michele Servadei, United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF), Libya Representative said that after the nutrition SMART survey in Libya, UNICEF estimated that 32,000 children are severely, and acutely malnourished. “We could treat them all and build system capacity to screen and treat with about $3.5 million dollars. We need your support.”