By John Lee.

The United Nations has advertised new positions in Iraqi Kurdistan:

(Source: UN)

(Picture: Success, growth, career, development signpost from 3D_Creation/Shutterstock)

WHO sends shipment of kits and medical supplies to Missan governorate

Responding to the needs of the Directorate of Health in Missan following the recent floods that hit the area, the World Health Organisation (WHO), with the generous support of donors, sent a large consignment of emergency kits and medical supplies to support the Directorate, 304 kilometres south east of Baghdad.

WHO and Missan Directorate of Health staff witness firsthand the damage caused by floodingMissan was adversely affected by the floods which were caused by heavy rain and floods from the border with Islamic Republic of Iran. The flood water is covering a wide area of land, which has led to the migration of residents, damage to property, death of livestock and destruction of agricultural crops in many villages and marshlands.

About 328 726 population are at risk. Cities and villages affected are: Ali al-Gharbi, al-Msharrah, Hay al-Mua’alemeen al-Jadeed, al-Salam, al-Faka, al-Btaira, al-Teeb, al-Adil, al-Maymouna, al-Uzair and al-Kahlaa. Areas seriously threatened are villages west of the Tigris River (Hor Al-Musandak) along Ali al-Gharbi, Ali al-Sharqi and Qamit. 545 families are displaced with another 2000 families threatened with displacement.

The Government coordinated multisectoral efforts, supervised and supported relief operations, established 5 camps, and coordinated with Iraqi Army forces and civil defense to send helicopters to evacuate people trapped in flooded areas. With the situation quickly evolving, 101 families in some villages were evacuated to a camp in a neighbouring village.

Adham Ismail, acting WHO Representative in Iraq, said:

In response to the crisis, the WHO country office in Iraq has been coordinating very closely with the Missan Directorate of Health. WHO kept high level coordination and collaboration with the Directorate of Health in Missan through medical operations and specialized services.

“WHO acted promptly in responding to monitoring the floods and receiving regular reports, it assessed water quality and access to clean water and monitored cases of acute diarrhoea. Further, WHO has shared information with the Development Coordination Office at UNAMI and all United Nations partner agencies in Basra, particularly with UNICEF – Water and Sanitation Unit, and supported the Directorate with 30 Basic Interagency Emergency Health Kit and trauma kits to cover a population of 100 000 for one month. WHO will continue its efforts in monitoring the flood and health situation in Missan.

Officials at Missan Directorate of Health stressed that the shipment would save lives in the governorate and could be used by mobile clinics offering emergency health care and services to affected people. They expressed appreciation to WHO and donors for their quick response and support.

The consignment included supplementary module pharmaceutical kits, supplementary module equipment, renewable kits, trauma profile/emergency kits, medical supplies, and basic units (without a malaria component).

(Source: WHO)

WHO, UNFPA and UNICEF reiterate their commitment to Universal Health Coverage for every person, anywhere, anytime in Iraq

Today, as the world commemorates World Health Day with the theme, Universal Health Coverage (UHC), WHO, UNFPA and UNICEF recommit to supporting the Government of Iraq ensure that every person in Iraq has access to quality health care services, in accordance with the Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) of achieving universal health coverage by 2030.

Iraq has made considerable progress of striving to ensure access to quality and affordable health care services for its citizens over the past 25 years. The country has seen great improvement in life expectancy from 68.1 to 70.3 years; neo-natal mortality have gone down from 27 to 17% per 1000 live birth, while under five mortality has reduced from 54 to 30%. However, more needs to be done in order to build on these achievements and ensure equitable access to essential health services, irrespective of socio-economic status or geographic location.

Accessing UHC means providing access to essential quality care and protection. This entails integration of good stewardship, adequate public financing, qualified and motivated health workforce, access to quality medicines and health products, functional health information systems and people-centered service delivery systems. WHO, UNFPA and UNICEF are working closely with the authorities in Iraq at the national and subnational levels to strengthen health systems for better service delivery.

WHO continues to support the Iraqi Ministry of Health in prepositioning mobile clinics in areas with limited or no access to health care services, procuring medicines and other medical supplies, as well as developing strategies, guidelines and policies in favor of universal health care. In addition, the organization is working to build the capacity of health workers through trainings and is supporting the rehabilitation of damaged and destroyed health facilities.

Women and girls in particular are still unable to realize their sexual and reproductive health and rights and suffer from gender-based violence. Protracted displacement places an extra burden, making them unable to access reproductive health services in a timely manner, leading to life-threatening risks during pregnancy and delivery. UNFPA continues to prioritize maternal health, childbirth and newborn care services through the support of 76 facilities to mitigate the risks of maternal deaths and ensure no pregnancy is unattended by birth attendants in Iraq.

UNICEF has focused much of its healthcare work on immunization, newborn care, and nutrition across Iraq, including among vulnerable communities such as the internally displaced and hard to reach areas. Although 90% of under-fives received polio and measles vaccinations last year, only half of under ones got all the vaccinations required to ensure a healthy childhood. Without adequate immunization, Iraqi children have significantly higher risks of developing debilitating diseases and lifelong disabilities.

On this World Health Day, the UN reiterates its commitment to work with the Government to bring the country one-step closer to an Iraq where everyone has rights, choices, and access to quality health services. Together, we can contribute to ensuring that the people of Iraq are among the global one billion more people exercising their human right to have access to quality health services.

(Source: UN)

By John Lee.

The United Nations has advertised new positions in Iraq:

(Source: UN)

(Picture: Finger pressing a new career start button, from Olivier Le Moal/Shutterstock)

By John Lee.

The United Nations has advertised new positions in Iraqi Kurdistan:

(Source: UN)

(Picture: Success, growth, career, development signpost from 3D_Creation/Shutterstock)

By John Lee.

The United Nations has advertised new positions in Iraqi Kurdistan:

(Source: UN)

(Picture: Success, growth, career, development signpost from 3D_Creation/Shutterstock)

World Health Organization (WHO) Iraq delivers four trucks loaded with kits and medical supplies to Diyala

Responding to the need of the Directorate of Health in Diyala, WHO with the support of the generous donors, has arranged for a large consignment of medical kits and medical supplies to support the Directorate.

A shipment of four 40-feet trucks of kits and medical supplies was transported on 14 January 2019 to support returnees’ districts in Diyala governorate, 84 kilometers east of Baghdad.

As Diyala is one of the crisis affected governorate and in line with the objectives of Humanitarian Response Plan, WHO, in coordination with Diyala health directorate, developed an action plan to support the returnees and the IDPs families in the governorate during 2019.

“This shipment is the first of its kind that was delivered to Diyala and an important step of WHO’s intervention in the governorate as part of 2019 plan,” Said Dr. Adham Ismail, Acting Representative of WHO Iraq. Dr. Ali Hussain al-Temimi, Director General of Diyala DoH pointed out that the shipment would save the lives of population in the governorate and can be used by mobile clinics offering health care and services to IDPs.

“It came in difficult time as the country suffers of lack of resources to provide the necessary and lifesaving medications, medical equipment and supplies”, Said Dr. al-Temimi.

“We are happy and highly appreciate WHO’s support to our directorate. His Excellency the Governor of Diyala instructed to send a letter of appreciation to WHO and its staff in Iraq for the valuable assistance they rendered. He also urged WHO to continue its work according to the agreed upon plan to provide medicine, construct a health center in far rural area, train staff on statistical programs, create a software to connect health centers with DoH and MoH, support exceptional campaigns for immunization, provide insecticides and pesticides for vector control in liberated areas and provide assistance to the 3 IDPs camps in Diyala”, added Dr. al-Temimi.

“The support by WHO and partner agencies came as a lifeline for the governorate.” said Mr. Wisam Mohammed Ahmed, Head of Pharmacy Department at the Directorate of Health in Diyala. “It will help the medical staff in hospitals and medical centers to work more efficiently and offer better care to patients.” Mr. Ahmed added.

The consignment included supplementary module pharmaceutical kits, supplementary module equipment, supplementary module renewable kits, traumatological profile/emergency kits, medical supplies support kits, basic units’ w/o malaria, ringer lactate and sodium chloride.

The support to the Directorate of Health in Diyala was made possible through generous contributions from donors and health partners especially The Office of U.S. Foreign Disaster Assistance – USAID-OFDA and the European Civil Protection and Humanitarian Aid Operations – ECHO.

(Source: WHO)

The World Health Organization (WHO) extends its gratitude to the U.S. Department of State Bureau of Population, Refugees, and Migration (BPRM) for the generous contribution of US$ 2.5 million to increase the health security and resilience of Syrian refugees living in Iraq.

In 2018, Iraq continued to host Syrian refugees. It is estimated that about 250,000 Syrian refugees are currently residing in the three governorates of the Kurdistan Region of Iraq (KRI) namely Erbil, Dahuk, and Sulaymaniyah, the majority of which (64%) lives with the hosting communities.

“There is an urgent need to support the local health authorities in KRI to ensure that Syrian refugees here have access to proper health services,” said Dr. Adham R. Ismail, Acting WHO Representative in Iraq. “Providing comprehensive primary, secondary, referral, and outbreak prevention and response services in the three refugee governorates is a WHO priority for the coming phase; it will indirectly improve the resilience of the refugees and host communities against potential public health emergencies,” he added.

Syrian refugees in Iraq have been given free access to primary health care services whether through camp-based primary health care centers ((PHCC) for refugees living in camps or public health facilities specified for those living with the host communities.

These services have been provided by the directorates of health of Erbil, Dohuk, and Suleimaniya in collaboration with WHO and health partners. However, the mass internal displacement of over 3.3 million Iraqis in 2014 had stretched the capacity of the national health authorities and humanitarian partners to continue meeting the needs of refugees and respond to the inflated demand for health care intervention.

As of 2018, WHO has been active in filling the gaps in essential medicines and medical supplies and equipment, improving referral services, and supporting surveillance and water quality monitoring activities in the refugee camp and non-camp settings. According to the 2017 national health reports, the said DOHs have provided a total of 264,611 consultations to Syrian refugees residing in KRG of Iraq.

The contribution of US$ 2.5 million from the U.S. BPRM will support the provision of comprehensive primary health care and referral services for around 300,000 Syrian refugees and host communities in KRI. It will also support the healthcare services for the disabled and mentally ill patients in the three mentioned governorates through a comprehensive training program for the national professionals working in the mental health area.

The contribution will also cover the procurement and distribution of essential medicines, and medical supplies and equipment to selected health facilities serving the refugees in target governorates.

(Source: UN)

The World Health Organization (WHO) has conducted an urgent needs-assessment mission to Qayyarah’s Jadaa internally displaced person (IDP) camps in Ninewa governorate to assess the health situation of the population affected by the heavy rain which caused flash flooding in a number of IDP camps in the governorate.

Tens of thousands of families have lost all their belongings and are reported to be in dire need of food, drinking water, medicine, and hygiene kits.

A slight increase in the number of upper respiratory tract infection cases were reported in the visited camps and health partners there were notified to monitor the situation and immediately report any change in communicable disease trends through the WHO Early Warning Alert and Response Network (EWARN).

“WHO is working closely with partners and local health authorities to manage the emergency and meet the urgent health and sanitation needs of thousands of families hit by the flash floods in Ninewa and Salah al-Din governorates,” said Dr Adham Rashad, Acting WHO Representative in Iraq. “The situation requires a collective humanitarian effort and a quick reaction to minimize risks and contain the damage,” he added.

A shipment of blankets has been delivered to IDP camps in the district of Qayyarah and medical supplies, kits, and ambulances are on the way for deployment to badly affected areas in the affected governorates.

As of 23 November, heavy rain has hit the country causing flash floods that have led to the damage of property, livestock, and infrastructure in Ninewa, Salah Eldin and the southern governorates of Missan, Wasit and Basrah. A number of bridges, roads, and villages were inundated and more than 10 000 people in Salah Eldin and 15 000 people in Ninewa governorates are in urgent need of assistance, including thousands of families living in IDP camps.

WHO remains ready to support the Ministry of Health and local health authorities to address the impact of the floods and reduce the suffering of the vulnerable populations in the IDP camps and other under-recovery areas in Ninewa and Salah al-Din governorates.

(Source: UN)

WHO and Ministry of Health investigate the massive death of fish in southern governorates of Iraq

Laboratory tests conducted on water samples in the reference lab in Amman, Jordan on the cause of death of freshwater fish in the Euphrates River in Iraq have revealed the contamination of water with high content of coliforms, heavy metals, and high concentration of ammonia.

Health experts from the World Health Organization (WHO) and the Ministry of Health and Environment in Iraq say that while these materials are toxic to fish, they pose no health threat to humans.

Testing on dead fish has revealed serious issues that warranted WHO to conduct a second investigation related to probable viral infection of fish causing the death of thousands in the river. Results of the second test are due next week.

The laboratory investigations came in response to a request to WHO by the Iraqi Ministry of Health and Environment to assess the likely effects of the fish death on humans and the environment.

As early as 2 November this year, thousands of tonnes of fish have died in the Euphrates River causing significant loss to fish farms and production in the southern part of Iraq especially in Babel province, 85 kilometers south of Baghdad.

WHO continues to work with its MOH counterparts to develop appropriate preventive measures to effectively mitigate and respond to future incidents of this nature.

(Source: UN)