World Health Organization (WHO)


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)

Skyrocketing Food Prices, Dire Conditions in Western Mosul

The United Nations food relief agency today said it is extremely concerned about the humanitarian situation facing more than 750,000 people living in dire conditions in the western sections of Iraq’s Mosul city, where fighting is taking place between the Government forces and Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL/Da’esh) terrorists.

“We are hearing from some families that food has drastically risen in price and is unaffordable. In extreme cases, people cannot access food at all,” said the World Food Programme’s (WFP) Iraq Representative and Country Director, Sally Haydock, in a news release.

“We appeal to all parties to the conflict to facilitate immediate and unimpeded humanitarian access to all Iraqis in need of assistance,” Ms. Haydock added, noting that WFP is monitoring the frontlines and remains ready to provide immediate food assistance as soon as families can be reached safely.

Through telephone interviews, many distressed families said that food was unaffordable, while others said they could not access food at all.

“The situation is unbelievable,” reported a 46-year-old man from inside the city. “There is no food, no clean water, no gas for heating, no medicine and no services.”

So far, WFP has provided ready-to-eat food for over 6,000 people who have fled villages to the south of western Mosul. Most have made their way to Hamam Al Alil, Qayyarah Jeda’a and Haj Ali camps. WFP has enough food in stock to cover the immediate needs of 770,000 people who reside in western Mosul.

The military offensive to oust ISIL from Mosul began on 17 October 2016. The Government has since retaken eastern Mosul.

In related news, the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) has reported that alongside its partners, it has provided legal assistance to help more than two and a half thousand Iraqis displaced as a result of the Mosul offensive receive new civil identity cards and other documents that were lost, damaged or destroyed as they fled their homes seeking safety.

As many as 49 per cent of displaced Iraqis interviewed by UNHCR protection partners were found to need help in getting new civil documentation, as many families lost documents or had their papers damaged as they fled conflict zones.

Other families were told that birth and marriage documents, which had been issued when their areas were under the control of armed groups, were not legally recognized by the Iraqi Government and needed replacement.

“It took considerable time and effort to help displaced families with new documentation,” said Bruno Geddo, UNHCR’s Representative in Iraq. “Our teams and partners have had to adopt some innovative methods and advocate tirelessly in order to get around some of the difficulties and lengthy bureaucratic requirements”, he said, citing the agency’s ongoing efforts to assist thousands of people who have been in “legal limbo.”

(Source: United Nations)