World Health Organization (WHO)


Investments in Health can contribute to Peace Dividends

In the lead-up to the Kuwait International Conference for Reconstruction of Iraq, the World Health Organization (WHO) calls on the international community to further invest in Iraq’s devastated health sector.

In Anbar, Ninewa, Salah Al Din, and Kirkuk, 14 hospitals and more than 170 health facilities were damaged or destroyed in the three-year conflict. Water and power systems that health facilities depend on to function also need urgent repair.

Beyond physical damage, the crisis caused unimaginable mental distress for millions of people, left tens of thousands of Iraqis with severe physical injuries, disrupted the routine vaccination of millions of children, decreased reproductive health services to girls and women of child-bearing age, halted the supply of essential medicines and medical equipment, and interrupted the medical education for hundreds of thousands of aspiring medical workers.

“More than 2.4 million Iraqis are still displaced and need direct health care, and more than 3.3 million Iraqis who have returned home have gone back to areas where the health system needs to be almost entirely rebuilt,” said Altaf Musani, WHO Representative in Iraq. “Across the country, millions of Iraqis are in the process of rebuilding their shattered lives and WHO is keen on supporting the governmental health authorities to provide them with appropriate and dignified health care services.”

WHO has worked with health partners to support the Government of Iraq in providing emergency health services and strengthening the health care system to ensure vulnerable persons have access to quality health care. In 2017, partners including various departments of health provided over 6 million medical consultations across Iraq.

This was made possible by establishing and supporting at least 29 static health clinics in displacement camps and outreach through more than 64 mobile medical clinics. Notably, life-saving emergency health services were provided to more than 24,000 people through five field hospitals close to the front-lines in Mosul, Hawija and Al-Qaim.

To protect current humanitarian gains as well as reduce vulnerabilities, further investments in health are urgently needed. Support to rebuild health systems, provision of life saving medicines and upgrading medical technologies will ensure a responsive health care system.

WHO and health partners are appealing for firm commitments to Iraq’s health care system which will enable peaceful, dignified and safe returns as well as revitalization of new accessible areas.

(Source: UNAMI)

Mobile Health Teams reach People in Newly Liberated Areas

For more than 3 years, the people of Hawiija [Hawijah] district in Kirkuk governorate, were cut off from lifesaving health care and immunization services, leaving many children susceptible to vaccine-preventable diseases. “For years, I worried that my children may contract polio and measles or die,” said Hadija, a 32-year-old mother of 3.

In September 2017, the district became accessible following military operations launched by the Government of Iraq. WHO, together with Kirkuk Directorate of Health, immediately deployed mobile medical teams to provide immunization services, and health care for people suffering from trauma injuries or chronic disease conditions.

Five mobile medical teams were deployed to Khan, Tal Ali, Abbassi, Masanaa, Al Zab and Ryadh areas. Since then, from mid-September to 15 November 2017, more than 10000 people in Hawiija district have benefited from WHO’s support, including 1563 children vaccinated against childhood immunizable diseases.

Although these newly accessible areas are still security compromised, WHO saw an urgency in delivering health care to thousands of people that had been cut off from aid for years, and whose health was being compromised day by day. Five main health facilities have been partially or completely damaged, in addition to Hawija general hospital. Currently, only the Kirkuk Directorate of Health and WHO-supported frontline health teams are delivering immunization services in these areas.

WHO Assistance for Earthquake Patients

WHO delivers urgent health assistance for earthquake trauma patients

In response to the recent earthquake in the border region between Islamic Republic of Iran and Iraq, the World Health Organization (WHO)’s office in Iraq has deployed a medical team supported with 3 ambulances, 4 tents and emergency lifesaving supplies to Sulaymaniyah governorate in northern Iraq.

The health supplies, sufficient for 200 surgical operations, have been prepositioned at the Emergency Hospital in Sulaymaniyah governorate.

An interagency assessment mission to Sulaymaniyah governorate reported that 8 people had been killed, more than 500 people injured and 3 health facilities damaged, 2 of which remain nonfunctional as a result of the earthquake.

WHO’s support is in response to a request from the Directorate of Joint Crisis Coordination Centre, Ministry of Interior, Kurdistan Regional Government and the Directorate of Health Sulaymaniyah.

On Sunday, 13 November 2017, an earthquake measuring a magnitude of 7.3 on the Richter scale struck approximately 32 kms from the city of Halabja, Iraq. The earthquake was felt across Iraq, including in the cities of Baghdad, Erbil, Sulaymaniyah, Kirkuk and Basra. Five districts in Sulaymaniyah were struck the hardest.

WHO and health partners continue to closely monitor the situation and will continue to deliver assistance to health facilities receiving patients affected by the earthquake. This emergency response by WHO has been made possible with funds from European Union Humanitarian Aid (ECHO) and the Office of U.S. Foreign Disaster Assistance (USAID/OFDA).

(Source: UNSMIL)

New Career Opportunities in Iraq

By John Lee.

The United Nations has advertised new positions in Iraq:

(Source: UN)

New Career Opportunities in Iraq

By John Lee.

The United Nations has advertised new positions in Iraq:

(Source: UN)

Investment in Healthcare is Urgently Required

Investment in healthcare is urgently required to save the lives of mothers and newborn babies in Iraq

Decades of conflict and under-investment have placed a huge strain on Iraq’s healthcare system, and pregnant women and their babies are paying for it with their lives.

Although progress has been made to lower maternal mortality rates, there has been slow headway in reducing the mortality rates for children under five. Newborn babies are particularly vulnerable because of poor birth practices, inadequate referral mechanisms and inefficient neonatal care, particularly in remote areas.

Breastfeeding, neonatal resuscitation, kangaroo mother care for preterm babies, and the prevention and treatment of infections will help prevent these infant deaths.

With the support of UNICEF, the Ministry of Health has launched the Every Newborn Action Plan (ENAP), which was developed jointly with UNICEF, the World Health Organization (WHO), and the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA). The ENAP is an evidence based strategy to invest in, and improve the quality of maternal and newborn care.

“Providing high quality care before and after birth not only saves lives, it is also an investment to ensure Iraqi children have the best start in life and meet their full potential,” said Peter Hawkins (pictured), UNICEF’s Representative in Iraq.

“WHO and other partners will work to support the Government of Iraq through the Ministry of Health to achieve equitable universal health coverage, including the provision of comprehensive services for every woman and newborn in Iraq in order to contribute to the substantial reduction of maternal and neonatal mortality and morbidity,” said Musani Altaf, WHO Representative in Iraq

“Neonatal mortality contributes significantly to child mortality in Iraq. UNFPA is proud to have played a part in the formulation of the Newborn Action Plan and commits to support the Ministry of Health in its implementation,” said Ramanathan Balakrishnan, UNFPA’s Representative in Iraq.

The Iraq ENAP has been developed in alignment with the Global Every Newborn Action Plan. It is expected to serve as a roadmap that redefines and focuses national and sub national strategies and activities to reduce deaths and disability, ensuring no newborn is left behind.

(Source: UN)

New Career Opportunities in Iraq

By John Lee.

The United Nations has advertised new positions in Iraq:

(Source: UN)

New Iraqi Child and Adolescent Health Strategy (2018-2020)

Under the Patronage of Her Excellency the Minister of Health & Environment Dr Adeelah Hamoud Hussien, the Public Health Directorate (PHD) in collaboration with the World Health Organization (WHO), the United Nation Children’s’ Fund (UNICEF) and the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) launched on 20 July 2017 the National Reproductive, Maternal, Newborn, Child and Adolescent Health Strategy (RMNCAH) 2018–2020.

The strategy was developed in alignment with the national development plans and strategies to map the road for galvanizing actions to achieve the Sustainable Developmental Goals (SDGs) for health in Iraq.

With the present diverse health challenges and public health risks and threats such as disease outbreaks and high maternal and child mortality rates, the community of health professionals in Iraq needs an updated national RMNCAH strategy (2018–2020) that would support stepping up joint efforts to complete the unfinished work of the Millennium Developmental Goals (MDGs).

The RMNCAH strategy aims to address the inequities among underserved areas in Iraq, stricter compliance to measurement and monitoring of progress, the inclusion of the humanitarian aspects and adherence to the 2030 agenda for SDGs, particularly those related to the health of women, children and adolescents, and the inclusion of innovative approaches for monitoring progress during the implementation of the RMNCA strategy 2018–-2020.

Together with the national health authorities and civil society, WHO, UNICEF, and UNFPA will work to support the government of Iraq with the necessary technical and operational modalities to improve the health and well-being of women, children, and adolescents in the country.

(Source: WHO)

New Career Opportunities in Iraq

By John Lee.

The United Nations has advertised new positions in Iraq:

(Source: UN)

Australian Firm to Manage Field Hospital near Mosul

Australian company Aspen Medical has been contracted by the World Health Organization (WHO) to provide healthcare professionals and hospital management at a 48-bed field hospital south of Mosul in northern Iraq.

The field hospital was established by WHO at the urgent request of the Ministry of Health in Iraq. WHO is coordinating a number of organisations providing trauma care in the conflict zone.

Aspen Medical will initially be providing a team of over 80 personnel to the facility including emergency physicians, surgeons, anaesthetists, nurses, midwives, neonatal specialists, obstetricians and paramedics.

In addition to the clinical team, Aspen Medical will be providing management, logistics, security, administration and operations specialists to the field hospital.  The Aspen Medical team will work alongside 48 national health personnel of different cadres already recruited to support trauma care at the hospital.

Glenn Keys, Co-Executive Chairman and co-founder of Aspen Medical, said:

“ISIL completely destroyed the healthcare infrastructure and now the world has an opportunity to help the long-suffering civilians of Mosul.  Working in partnership with other national and international organisations in the region, our collective challenge is to ensure access and availability of a high quality of medical care for those fleeing Western Mosul.”

Dr Andrew Walker, Co-Executive Chairman and co-founder of Aspen Medical, said;

“This won’t be a job for the faint-hearted.  We are honoured to be a critical part of this international humanitarian response and we look forward to working closely with WHO and the Ninewa Directorate of Health in Iraq.”

With the commencement of the offensive in Mosul, there is likely to be a significant increase in trauma casualties.  Mosul is a city of about 1.2 million people and casualties have been high.  Nearly half the casualties are civilians and this includes a high proportion of children.

(Source: Aspen Medical)