As a result of the fight against ISIL between 2014 and 2017, the capacity of the national health system became severely overstretched and had difficulties in meeting the health needs of internally displaced persons (IDPs), returnees and host communities.
The limited availability of primary health-care (PHC) services, the lack of sufficient trained health personnel, the destroyed or inadequate health-care infrastructure and shortages of medicines and medical supplies weakened the health system.
The Iraqi Ministry of Health (MoH) needs support to ensure health coverage for all vulnerable populations and mitigate the impact of the conflict on the public health system.
IDPs live in precarious conditions in camps and informal settlements. These communities face poor hygiene and sanitation conditions, limited access to adequate PHC services, including maternal and child health care, inadequate nutrition and insufficient preventive and curative health care for communicable diseases. Areas of return, especially those in conflict-affected communities, face similar challenges, with communities and returnees unable to access adequate health services.
These factors contribute to increased spread and risk of communicable diseases, such as tuberculosis and cholera. In response to the health needs in Iraq, IOM’s Emergency Health (EH) unit expanded its capacity, going from 20 staff in four northern governorates in 2014 to 590 staff distributed across 14 governorates in 2018.
The EH unit supported access to primary and secondary health-care services through the following services:
- 1 Field Hospital in East Mosul (2017)
- 26 Mobile Medical Teams
- 4 Mobile Medical Clinics
- 10 Static Clinics in Camps
- 10 Upgraded DOH Health Facilities
- 20 Health Facilities Supported with Equipment and Supplies
- Emergency and Non-emergency Referrals
Main activities of MMTs and static clinics
- Provide PHC consultations
- Provide specialized maternal and child health care
- Participate in the early warning response system (EWARN) managed by the MoH and the World Health Organization (WHO) to prevent outbreaks of communicable diseases
- Facilitating referral of selected cases to secondary specialized services
- Raise awareness to promote health among IDPs and host communities
- Provide psychosocial support to tuberculosis patients and their families
- Train health-care staff
- Procure and distribute medication (Erbil/Baghdad)
- Supporting National Tuberculosis Programme (NTP) in tuberculosis prevention, screening and treatment
Achievements in health from 2014 to July 2018