Islamic Republic of Iran | News | Support for people with HIV affected by recent flooding in Islamic Republic of Iran

Support for people with HIV affected by recent flooding in Islamic Republic of Iran

Print PDF

Poledokhtar, Lorestan Province; Health Emergency teams provide medicines and health kits to flood-affected patients under chronic diseases control such as HIV infectionEmergency health teams in Poledokhtar, Lorestan province, provide medicines and health kits to people with chronic diseases, such as HIV, in flood-affected areas. Photo: Lorestan University of Medical Sciences

24 April 2019 – Mahdieh was very worried. The floods had taken away all her belongings. Her newborn Nima was crying in her arms. It had only been 3 months since she was informed about her HIV-positive status and she had to feed her child with formula instead of her milk. The floods had taken away all her medicines and the formula, which had been delivered by health workers to her home 2 days ago. Nima was hungry and Mahdieh could not tell anybody why she couldn't feed her baby herself. She had lost her cellphone and the roads had been destroyed by the floods, thus she had no hope of reaching the health centre.

However, during this time of tragedy, Mahdieh had not been forgotten by the health system. Health workers were calling all people living with HIV to check up on their health status and medicinal needs. They even sent outreach teams to find those who could not be contacted.

Thanks to this prompt intervention most people with HIV have been actively traced in those districts most affected by the flooding to ensure uninterrupted ARV treatment and HIV care. The public health system in flood-affected provinces is functioning despite major destruction of infrastructure and shortage of some medicines and equipment.

Health workers finally reached Mahdieh and Nima and provided Mahdieh with formula and medicines. The health worker couldn’t stop tears of joy streaming down her face when Nima slept tight in her mother’s arms after being fed. Mahdieh could also be more confident in adhering to her ARV treatment while not disclosing her status to the local community.

Health workers from the region and other parts of the country are working hard to respond to the needs of people in affected areas. The Centre for Communicable Diseases Control has been coordinating the response, mobilizing and supervising field teams and it has conducted measures such as mass vaccinations to prevent disease outbreaks. They are also mobilizing resources to replenish pharmaceutical stocks in affected areas.

The United Nations and WHO have issued an appeal for US$ 30 million to help Islamic Republic of Iran better respond to this emergency situation which has been classified officially as a grade two emergency.

* The names of individuals have been changed to protect their anonymity.

Related link

WHO airlifts medical supplies for flood response in Islamic Republic of Iran
10 April 2019


Key health-related statistics

Total population in thousands

79 926

Total health expenditure (as % of general government expenditure)


Maternal mortality per 100 000 live


Primary health care units and centres


Life expectancy


Source: Framework for health information systems and core indicators for monitoring health situation and health system performance, 2018

Islamic Republic of Iran country health profile

Regional Health Observatory