Iraq: “We help critically ill children to live”

WHO supports a vital pediatric hospital in Iraq, bringing quality care to the most vulnerable.

Lina_tends_to_her_daughter_Karla_in_the_pediatric_ICU_at_the_Duhok_Pediatric_Teaching_HospitalLina tends to her daughter Karla in the pediatric ICU at the Duhok Pediatric Teaching Hospital. © WHO Iraq/S.Meyer

“My daughter had some problems with her chest, so I brought her in for a checkup,” says Lina Addulmasseh.

The young mother is sitting beside her ten-month-old baby, Karla, in the intensive care unit (ICU) in Duhok’s Heevi Pediatric Hospital. The unit’s five other beds are full, and mothers sit quietly at their babies’ sides. Several babies are connected to High Flow Nasal Connula machines, which assist their breathing. 

“I was worried and scared,” Lina said, after receiving a diagnosis that no parent wants to hear: Karla’s checkup had identified a congenital heart defect and pneumonia.  

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Key health-related statistics

Total population (000s) 37 883
Total health expenditure on health (% of general government expenditure) 6.5
Maternal mortality ratio (per 100 000 live births) 50
Number of primary health care units and centres (per 10 000 population) 0.7
Total life expectancy at birth (years) 68.9

Source: Country statistical profiles (2017)

See Iraq country profile

Regional Health Observatory

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The WHO Representative for Iraq

Iraq WHO headquarters page