7 April 2017, Baghdad, Iraq – As operations in west Mosul intensify, a desperate need to scale up the continuum of trauma care for injured people increases. To date, since the start of the campaign in Mosul late last year, more than 6000 patients have been referred to hospitals in Mosul and neighbouring governorates. To further boost all levels of trauma care, the European Commission Civil Protection and Humanitarian Aid Operations (ECHO) has committed additional €10 million to the World Health Organization (WHO).
WHO and medical humanitarian partners have already referred and treated more than 1500 patients, as result of the operations in West Mosul alone. Almost 30% of the heavy trauma caseloads are women and children. Children as young as 4 years, gravely injured during the conflict, have been stabilized and provided with lifesaving medical care. The strain that this level of care imposes on the health care system is tremendous.
This timely support by the European Union will substantially reinforce WHO and health partners' efforts to strengthen the lifesaving trauma referral pathway. This includes establishing medical stabilization points at the front line, transporting injured patients, setting and managing three field hospitals and supporting post-operative and advanced trauma care in Erbil Emergency Hospital. Ensuring survival through the provision of high quality medical care from the front line onwards is paramount, as operations intensify in west Mosul.
“The European Commission has been a staunch supporter of the provision of lifesaving humanitarian health care in Iraq. Their unwavering support has continued throughout the Mosul operations and since 2015. WHO welcomes this type of funding that will reduce avoidable loss of life, ensuring the urgent delivery of emergency health services” said Altaf Musani, WHO Representative for Iraq.
Support to ongoing WHO led, innovative actions such as the monitoring and documenting of attacks against health care workers, is also included. Most recently the United Nations Security Council unanimously adopted resolution 2286, that strongly condemns attacks and threats against the wounded and sick, medical personnel and humanitarian personnel exclusively engaged in medical duties, their means of transport and equipment, as well as hospitals and other medical facilities.
“WHO and health partners are a heartening example of the daily strive of medical humanitarian personnel to safeguard humanity during conflict. The EU is a proud supporter of these efforts and of those made to protect civilians in the first place” said Javier Rio-Navarro, EU Humanitarian Aid (ECHO) head of office in Iraq.
In light of vast trauma and other emergency health needs, WHO and health partners under the Humanitarian Response Plan 2017 are appealing for US$ 110 million. These critical funds are needed to support health care interventions for 6.2 million people Iraq wide. To date, only 15% of the required funding has been received, threatening access to life saving care for those most in need.