Iraq | Information resources | WHO responds to the health needs of internally displaced people in Mosul


WHO responds to the health needs of internally displaced people in Mosul

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For more than 3 years, people in east and west Mosul have largely been deprived of basic health services, including vaccination services and other health services and access to medicines to treat acute and chronic conditions. This is evident from the level of demand of health services characterized by long queues at health facilities and mobile clinics established by WHO, the Federal Ministry of Health, Directorate of Health and implementing partners.
Since 18 February 2017 more than 300 000 people from west Mosul have been displaced and are living in camps. As operations intensify, more people are expected to flee the city.
More than 25% of major hospitals and 39% of primary health care centres in the city of Mosul have either been completely or partially damaged, while 50% of all major hospitals remain inaccessible. In areas with functional health facilities, acute shortage of health care staff and shortage of medicines remain a huge challenge.
In response to gaps caused by massive waves of population displacement from west Mosul, WHO supported the Ninewa Directorate of Health in establishing mobile medical clinics and mobile medical teams to respond to the health needs of internally displaced people and host communities in the neighbourhoods of Mosul city. Five mobile medical clinics and mobile medical teams have been deployed to mustering sites in Tal Kasum region, Scorpion junction checkpoint and to reception and screening sites.
The mobile medical teams and clinics move essential basic health care services closer to disadvantaged communities who live far from fixed health points. More than 20 000 people, including 7962 children under 5 years of age, have been reached since 14 March 2017.
Zainab is a mother of 6 children who were not vaccinated for the many years when accessibility to west Mosul was a challenge. Zainab managed to get all her children to a primary health care centre in Hamam al’ Alil where they were vaccinated against polio, measles and rubella. The comprehensive health facility was established by WHO and is being run by the implementing partner DARY.
WHO, in collaboration with the Federal Ministry of Health and Ninewa Directorate of Health, has also established primary health care clinics in internally displaced persons camps and transit sites to ensure that all persons fleeing from conflict areas have access to basic essential primary health care services. Managed by WHO implementing partners, the facilities provide comprehensive primary health care services, including immunization, reproductive health, laboratory and consultations. More than 630 000 consultations have been recorded through the primary health care centres facilities since January 2017.
In transit sites and collection points, WHO established fully equipped health caravans to support the delivery of primary health care services for people fleeing from west Mosul.
More than 30 ambulances have also been stationed in the transit areas, field hospitals, trauma stabilization points and other hospitals to support Ninewa Directorate of Health to transport patients who may be in need of urgent referral services.
With limited capacities in major hospitals in Ninawa to offer secondary and tertiary health care services including treatment of severely wounded people civilians, WHO, in collaboration with the Ministry of Health and relevant directorates of health, is supporting the implementation of a comprehensive a trauma plan to provide a high level of care and strengthen the referral pathway. This has been achieved through support to trauma stabilization points closer to frontlines, setting up 3 field hospitals, referral of severe cases to specialized post-operative care services and support to these referral hospitals by increasing ambulatory care, rehabilitation services and provision of emergency lifesaving medicines and other medical supplies, including blood supply.
WHO has established 2 field hospitals in Bartalla and Athba to respond to the increasing number of trauma patients injured in the frontlines of east and west Mosul. This has reduced the time needed for patients to travel to Erbil for trauma care services by half, while offering patients the ability to receive care and treatment within the ‘golden’ hour. To date, more than 2000 patients have been treated in the 2 field hospitals since January 2017. The youngest trauma patient so far managed in these hospitals has been a 4-month-old baby who was treated with chest and head injuries.
In Emergency and West Emergency hospitals in Erbil and Sheekhan hospital in Ninawa, where patients requiring advanced emergency trauma care post-operative care services are referred, WHO has continued to provide emergency medical supplies and equipment. Since October 2016, more than 4000 patients have been managed in the 3 hospitals. WHO and other partners have supported the establishment of 5 trauma stabilization points (TSPs); 2 in east Mosul and 3 in west Mosul where injured patients receive first line emergency care and are stabilized before they are transferred to hospital. Patients that do not require referrals are treated and discharged. The TSPs are staffed by well-trained national and international medical doctors and paramedics.
Since the start of Mosul operations in October 2016, WHO has procured and delivered 34 fully equipped ambulances to Ninewa Directorate of Health to ensure timely referrals of emergency cases with complicated conditions. Fifteen additional ambulances were procured and will be pre-positioned in west Mosul alone to respond to wounded patients from frontlines and to support referrals of other complicated medical conditions. All trauma patients treated in Mosul and other neighbouring governorates were transported through WHO and Ministry of Health ambulances. Other partners also provided ambulances used to refer patients with other medical conditions.
Regular blood supply is essential for trauma management. To ensure the sustainability of blood supply, WHO is working with Erbil Directorate of Health to mobilize and supply blood to hospitals treating trauma patients. Since the opening of Athba and Bartalla field hospitals, WHO has facilitated the supply of more than 1000 units of different types of blood components. Through implementing partners and Ninewa and Erbil Directorates of Health, WHO is supporting specialized post-operative care services and rehabilitation services in the emergency hospital in Erbil. More than 1000 patients have so far benefited from these services.
WHO has also supplied Ninewa Directorate of Health and health partners with essential lifesaving medicines, including medicines for the treatment of chronic conditions, acute upper respiratory tract infections, and other medical conditions.
For more than 3 years, people in east and west Mosul have largely been deprived of basic health services, including vaccination services and other health services and access to medicines to treat acute and chronic conditions. This is evident from the level of demand of health services characterized by long queues at health facilities and mobile clinics established by WHO, the Federal Ministry of Health, Directorate of Health and implementing partners.

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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)

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