Iraq | News | WHO and health partners step up efforts to provide urgent support for victims of flooding

WHO and health partners step up efforts to provide urgent support for victims of flooding

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WHO staff with blanketsA WHO team visiting IDP camps affected by the flash flooding that hit Ninewa governorate on 23 November 2018. A consignment of blankets was handed over to affected families. WHO photo.Baghdad, 26 November 2018 – The World Health Organization (WHO) has conducted an urgent needs assessment mission to internally displaced person (IDP) camps in Qayyarah in Ninewa governorate to assess the health situation of the population affected by the heavy rain which caused flash flooding in a number of IDP camps in the governorate. Tens of thousands of families have lost all their belongings and are reported to be in dire need of food, drinking water, medicine, and hygiene kits.

A slight increase in the number of upper respiratory tract infection cases were reported in the visited camps and health partners there were notified to monitor the situation and immediately report any change in communicable disease trends through the WHO Early Warning Alert and Response Network (EWARN).

“WHO is working closely with partners and local health authorities to manage the emergency and meet the urgent health and sanitation needs of thousands of families hit by the flash floods in Ninewa and Salah al-Din governorates,” said Dr Adham Rashad, Acting WHO Representative in Iraq. “The situation requires a collective humanitarian effort and a rapid response to minimize the risks and contain the damage,” he added.

A shipment of blankets has been delivered to IDP camps in the district of Qayyarah and medical supplies, kits, and ambulances are on the way for deployment to badly hit areas in the affected governorates.

As of 23 November, heavy rain in the country has caused flash floods that have damaged property, livestock, and infrastructure in Ninewa, Salah al-Din and the southern governorates of Missan, Wasit and Basrah. A number of bridges, roads, and villages have been inundated and more than 10 000 people in Salah al-Din and 15 000 people in Ninewa governorates are in urgent need of assistance, including thousands of families living in IDP camps.

A WHO team visit an IDP campA WHO team visit a health centre in Jadaa 3 IDP camp in Qayyarah district, Ninewa governorate on 25 November 2018. WHO photo.WHO remains ready to support the Ministry of Health and local health authorities to address the impact of the floods and reduce the suffering of the vulnerable populations in the IDP camps and other under-recovery areas in Ninewa and Salah al-Din governorates.

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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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